Danish firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has won S. Pellegrino’s design contest for its new headquarters and bottling plant in Northern Italy. The proposal embraces the historic brand’s industrial heritage and elevates the regional architecture native tothe city of Bergamo by repeating various forms of archways throughout the 17,500-square-meter (about 188,370 square foot) site with vaults, covered tunnels, arcades, and green pergolas. Working with local firm Studio Verticale, the two groups will work for the next four years to replace the original bottling plant and offices dating back to 1899. The construction is estimated to cost €90 million (roughly $96 million). BIG beat out Dutch firm MVRDV, Oslo, Norway- and New York-based Snøhetta, and Italian studio Architetto Michele de Lucchi (aMDL) to reinvent the historic campus.
While Bjarke Ingels’ contemporary forms harken to historical Italian architecture, the plant is progressive in that it will be environmentally sustainable and already boasts of being the most complex and advanced plants in San Pellegrino Terme—a commune within Bergamo where the carbonated mineral water drink is produced. The surrounding natural environment will also be resonant in the design. The plant will provide expansive views of the Brembo River and the Alpine mountains for both employees and visitors to enjoy while highlighting the role of how this specific area results in making the specialty drink. When visitors arrive to the campus, they will be greeted by a landmark sculpture taken from a giant core sample that visualizes the 30-year passage the water travels through to acquire the minerals specific to S. Pellegrino’s identity.
Construction on the project is slated to start by 2018. The first phase of construction will address a bridge that will connect the bottling plant to Zogno, a nearby province, and continue to a parking structure for large vehicles. The next year, the focus will be on the offices, the northern wing of the factory, and new labs.