AFLS Olivone

@ALBERTO FLAMMER

Program:
The building is the headquarters of AFLS – Alpine Foundation for Life Sciences. The first floor houses the toxicology and bioanalysis laboratories. The ground floor contains a didactic laboratory and the AFLS administrative office. The access to the first floor is restricted for security reasons; the access to the ground floor has a more public nature.

@ALBERTO FLAMMER

Situation: The site is occupied by three former military barracks that currently contain leisure and sport activities (Campus Gioventù + Sport Ticino). Inside the complex, the building is placed near the western border, with the same orientation as the pre-existing facilities. This allows it to take on a fulcrum role and to redefine the open collective space between the two pre-existing barracks.

@ALBERTO FLAMMER

Materials: The building is completely made of wood, expressing unity of structure and coating material.
The structure is composed of three wooden laminated timber trusses of fir (Abies alba), sanded, autoclave impregnated, green coloured with a brown glazing.
The external coat is made of autoclave impregnated, brown coloured, rough fir boards.
Behind the wooden external coating the structural walls are full-height glass surfaces. Floors are made of polished concrete, painted gray. Interior walls and ceilings are in natural fir finished with white glazing.

© ALBERTO FLAMMER

Building: The project articulates tree main concepts: to express the high degree of technology involved in the idea of “laboratory”; to look for a qualifying dialogue with the surroundings; to offer an alpine and, at the same time, contemporary architectural image.

© ALBERTO FLAMMER

The building is a wooden volume of 1270 m3 (14,50 x 12 x 7,30 h). It is defined by tree wooden trusses with a 1:2 proportion, which outline its final aspect and express the principle of structural façade. The tree trusses rest on six small pillars that lift the building above the ground; the building hangs from the beams. There are two sorts of façades: blind and semi-transparent. The entrances are placed in the blind façades; the semi-transparent structural façades provide ventilation and illumination.

© ENRICO SASSI ARCHITETTO

The building has two entrances: one for the toxicology laboratory on the first floor (north face), the other for the didactical laboratory and the AFLS administrative office(south face).
The north and south façades – without windows – are just enclosing walls and they organize the building’s accesses: when the doors are closed the façades look like a continuous wooden surface, vaguely enigmatic, and completely blind. The east/west walls, on the contrary, are structural walls and are composed of wooden laminated timber trusses, two floors high, partially cladded with rough boards. The ratio between transparent and opaque in these façades is 50%.

© ENRICO SASSI ARCHITETTO
© ENRICO SASSI ARCHITETTO
© ENRICO SASSI ARCHITETTO
© ENRICO SASSI ARCHITETTO
© ENRICO SASSI ARCHITETTO
© ENRICO SASSI ARCHITETTO
© ENRICO SASSI ARCHITETTO

AFLS Olivone

Project

2005 – 2007

 

Photographs

Alberto Flammer, Alessandro Crinari

Technical data

Client: Fondazione Alpina per le Scienze della Vita

Architects: Enrico Sassi, Stefano Tibiletti

Work management  Matteo Devittori

Collaborator: Davide Gatti

 

Civil Engineer: Renzo Prati

Wood pre-dimensioning: Martin Hügli

Wood construction: Xilema

Wood structure verification: Andrea Bernasconi

Electrotechnical engineer: Ulisse Cappelli

HVAC Engineer: Fabrizio Zocchetti

Building contractors: Edgardo Bianchi

Publication