NEW HEADQUARTERS FOR THE CR FIRENZE BANK
- Project Management, Work Supervision, Structural Design, Safety Supervision: GPA
- Architectural Design: Studio Grassi & Associati
- Consultants: CMZ Studio Associato di Ingegneria Setin Engineering
The international competition to design the new branch for CR Bank of Florence was won by architect Giorgio Grassi (Studio Grassi Associate, 2005), who beat international practices such as Norman Foster, Steven Holl and KPF to secure the contract. The project follows the guide-lines of Leon Kier maser plan (1994) for ex-Fiat and ex- Carapelli areas. GPA Engineers were asked to: • coordinate International Studios’ pitch • develop the structural and executive design • organise the International Contractors’ tender • Project Management for the structural and architectural works The complex is composed of six buildings, each up to four floors above the ground, placed around a garden area, in order to evoke a small ancient town. The two underground storeys are used as a garage, which is extended also underneath the garden. The buildings are connected to each other with bridges supported by sophisticated “Vierendeel” steel wall-beams. The entire area (the building and the internal hanging garden) is placed on top of a 2 floor underground car park. GPA has designed the building’s structure: composed of a prefabricate reinforced concrete frame and the complex suspended garden structure. The foundation has been designed by GPA as a platform reinforced around the pillars. The building foundations are composed of a slab built in situ which supports pillars that in turn are strengthened at the base with a wide footing. The roof of a part of the garage provides support for the suspended garden which is above. The lifts’ core structures are working against the wind forces. GPA designed the insulation system to protect the water infiltration because the building is located on an area that has underground pockets of water. The double-system facade was designed by GPA as a unique skin made of bricks and Santafiora stone in order to improve the thermal isolation.