Architects Rejuvenate Cultural Services Center by Upcycling 200 DIBOND® Panels In Creative Installation

© Andrea Zanchi

The Centro Servizi Culturali Santa Chiara is a cultural services center situated in the northern mountains of Italy, in the province of Trento. The Center offers cultural arts events to the public, such as musical and theatrical performances, and historical installations as well as meeting and event spaces. Along with the Center’s two theaters, an adjoining urban park links different parts of the city attracting people of all ages and cultures. Unfortunately, part of the Centro Servizi has been uninhabited for ages and in a severe state of disrepair despite the fact that it is partially protected by “Sovrintendenza dei Beni architettonici”, a cultural heritage committee. Except for graffiti of a modest artistic level, there are offensive and xenophobic writings on the walls, evidence not only of urban but also civil decay.

Local architects Elisa Burnazzi and Davide Feltrin, co-owners of Burnazzi Feltrin Architetti, have rejuvenated the entry way to the Centro Servizi by upcycling approximately 200 DIBOND® panels recovered from billboards used to advertise past performances at the Centro Servizi.

The panels were recovered, cut into 16cm strips, rearranged and constructed back together to reveal new sustainable installation and signage. The new signage replaced existing signage built in the early 1990’s and several functional components were designed to enhance the visitor experience: wall claddings with shelves to display flyers in the Center’s entry way and the theater’s entrance, information displays, and directional signage to various event spaces. The DIBOND® signage has a brushed finish that contrasts well with the warm terracotta color of the exterior building.

© Carlo Baroni

(DIBOND® is an aluminum composite material consisting of two pre-painted sheets of 0.012-inch aluminum bonded to a solid polyethylene core — a unique composition that makes it approximately one-half the weight of aluminum. As the flattest panel on the market, DIBOND® offers a superior surface for direct digital-printing. It also can be routed and returned to add dimension or roll-formed to deliver sweeping curves. DIBOND® offers outstanding durability in outdoor applications and won’t bow or oil can.)

Upcycling, which means the reuse of materials or objects in the creation of high quality products, has not been seen on such a large scale previously with DIBOND®. Both architects and client believe that the culture, represented by “Centro Servizi”, can fight the decay of the urban surrounding by adding a new aesthetic value to the community. The installation speaks to the mind and the heart of the people.

While experiencing this space the panels’ many colors are the first impression. At night the LED linear lighting underlines the structure of the porch’s vaults. The installation’s multicolor surfaces are not fit for graffiti or vandalism, in this way they help to contrast urban decay. Upcycling brings fantasy and creativity into play, it’s educational and even therapeutic. Over time, new functional and aesthetic elements will be added to the installation.

Photography © Carlo Baroni and Andrea Zanchi
Photos are captioned with credit
Information Courtesy of Burnazzi Feltrin Architetti