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Construction of a real estate complex


Location: Acqui Terme (AL)

Client: Diocese of Acqui 

Work: Construction of a charitable real estate complex

Date: 2010-2013

Amount of works: € 6,400,000

Project: Final and executive project works management,

safety by Arch. P. Bandini (with Archi. Mauro Marsullo)

Collaborators: Arch. Elisa Ventura

Safety coordination: Arch. A. Costanzo

Contractor: Codelfa S.p.A.

Category (table z-1): E-06, E-03, E-13, E-22.


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The lot, located in a central area of Acqui Terme, owned by the Diocese of Acqui, has a rectangular shape with a total area of about 3120 square meters and is bordered on three sides by roads: Via Nizza to the west, Via Scati to the north and Via Cassino to the east, while the south side consists of a wall overlooking private gardens. On Via Nizza the building front is continuous, on two levels, while on Via Cassino, near the church of San Guido, the built-up front stops, replaced by a wall that borders the inner courtyard; on Via Scati the building constitutes a long visual curtain: going up from Via Nizza we find the old cinema, no longer used, a portion of residential property consisting of two floors above ground and finally the Church of San Guido. The buildings constituting the complex called "Il Ricre", built in later times, with different types and materials, are all currently in a state of advanced abandonment and the aggression of atmospheric agents as well as the lack of maintenance have configured a particularly degraded situation, with dangerous and internal structures unusable in many parts. In the past decades Ricre has played a fundamental role, while in recent years, excluding some activities of welfare and charity, it no longer performs the function of aggregation for which it was born. To all this is added a very complex social situation that will necessarily involve decisive and definitive intervention such as to bring back "order" and well-defined social functions in the area.


The buildings constituting the complex called "Il Ricre", built in later times, with different types and materials, were all in a state of advanced abandonment where the aggression of atmospheric agents as well as the lack of maintenance had configured a particularly degraded situation, with dangerous structures and interiors unusable in many parts. In the past decades, Ricre had played a fundamental role, but in recent years, if certain welfare and physical activities are excluded, it no longer played the function of aggregation for which he was born. In addition to all this, there is a very complex social situation - he knows that it necessarily involved decisive and definite intervention - such as to restore "order" and well-defined social functions in the area. The inner courtyard presented itself as an abandoned space in the quay - waste and debris were accumulated. The state of degradation was accentuated - by dense spontaneous weed vegetation that especially in the - the spring-summer season haunted the old football field. The inner premises of Via Nizza and Via Scati were also abandoned and left to carelessness and growing degradation. Even the former Church of San Guido had lost all religious and social welfare functions, confining itself to becoming a warehouse of goods. The obsolescence of the buildings, with a trail of social problems related to abusive and improper occupations, imposed a turning point that could enhance the existing building heritage, so as not to impoverish it further aggravating the situation of abandonment, and return in "services" the spaces of the parish.

OBJECTIVES: The Recovery Project has identified a solution that keeps active the positive value of the place, safeguarding the "memory of hospitality" that has always characterized the mission of the Diocese of Acqui. The design plan of the Recovery Project bases its motivations on some fundamental principles: - define a "coherent" project from an environmental point of view by introducing contemporary criteria related to energy saving and renewable energy sources; - define a "sustainable" project from the point of view; - identify a balance between the needs of "service to the community", which have always characterized the Ricre, and the inclusion of new activities.

PROJECT Some main assumptions are identified that organize the Project as a whole:

- the maintenance of the Chapel of San Guido, at the top of Via Scati, subject to constraint by the Superintendence and recovered through a partial internal transformation;

- the maintenance of batch alignments in order to re-propose an urban structure in line with the previous construction and public roads; - the establishment of an underground level for the creation of public and private parking spaces;

- the construction of a new building located in frieze in Via Cassino with the aim of establishing a continuity with the existing residential area.


The new activities planned, of which a large part destined to draw a line in perfect harmony with the historical vocation of the place, are inserted within four Functional sub-sectors that divide the original building sector on the basis of the intended uses. For the purpose of identifying the areas and project volumes to be attributed to the individual activities, the existing stock has been acquired to use them, with the appropriate calibrations, in the definition of the new building structure. Specifically, the project is organized according to the following lots


The building is proposed as a new element of the urban scenery along a primary planting road. The ground floor will see the recovery of the premises with cruise vaults and will have a service destination to host recreational, associative and youth activities. The two upper floors will house subsidized residential housing apartments aimed at meeting housing demands from low-income groups.


The destination is aimed at assistance and charity, with the following layout: - basement with spaces for the "Food Bank" and the "Fraternity Wardrobe", as well as a storage, with dedicated driveway access, for food and kitchen products. - first floor with kitchen equipped for the preparation of meals for welfare purposes related to the "Mensa della Fraità", spaces for service personnel and a space for the management activity of the Complex; - second and third floors intended for areas for equipment of common interest aimed at housing reception, with rooms and accommodation for temporary hospitality.

SUB-COMPARTMENT 3 Chapel of St. Guy

The single-nave building will be divided into two levels. The ground floor will host the "Mensa della Fraità" while the first floor will become a multipurpose room serving the neighborhood and the recreational and welfare activities of the Diocese. The external characteristics of the building are not changed unless they are used in line with the needs dictated by the new destination compatible with the original structure.


The project involves the construction of a new residential building, consisting of a commercial/office ground floor and three floors with different surface intended for private homes. The "L" angular plan defines the limits of the lot in continuity with the existing built front. The building's elevatiloy is more compact and outward matrices, in tune with existing building types, and more open to the inner courtyard, thanks to the use of metal shading structures that give the building a lighter look.

SUB-COMPARTMENT 4 park Outdoor spaces and parking 

The outdoor space between the project buildings will take on the value of green space, open to citizens, with places of rest and play for children. The area will include the public and private pedestrian paths of distribution to the various activities, green spaces with medium-bearing tree-lined, bowling alley and fixed furnishings with seats and games dedicated to the little ones, pergolas under which to stop. The project involves the construction of a level of underground parking with private garages and public parking spaces.

Initial phase of work


Final phase of work


Recreational interior

Energy riqualification

Our aim is to create an architectural object with high energy performance, with reduced thermal waste through the casing and integration of renewable energy sources, which will make the building as self-sufficient as possible from an energy point of view.

Thermal insulation and building envelope.
The legislation establishes, according to climatic zones, an Index - limit energy performance. This value can easily be achieved through a good choice of materials - for the realization of the building envelope and their layout. In this sense, we have chosen a double-layer wall type with an interposed non-ventilated inner tube, thermal insulation in mineral fibres with high thermal performance (transmittance around 0.32 W/m²K).
Solar energy
The presence of technological devices that allow to directly obtain energy from the sun, such as solar panels to produce hot water and photovoltaic systems to produce electricity, becomes fundamental. With these systems it is possible to produce electricity and hot water without the use of any fuel, and they also require poor maintenance. Solar thermal systems at low temperatures, taking advantage of the greenhouse effect, converge solar energy in thermal energy that can be used through the use of a heat transfer fluid. Here, too, we need in-depth studies concerning position, inclination, etc. as for photovoltaic panels. The photovoltaic system is able to transform, directly and instantly, solar energy into electricity without the use of any fuel. It exploits the so-called photovoltaic effect, i.e. the ability of certain semiconductor materials (mainly silicon) suitably treated, "drugged", to generate electricity when exposed to light radiation. It is clear that the real efficiency of the photovol taici panels is determined by the incident solar radiation and, therefore, by the orientation, positioning, shading and tilt of the panel itself, all of which will of course be correctly evaluated in order to achieve a good result. In our project we plan to use the aforementioned technologies in special structures located on the roofs of the buildings of Via Nizza, Via Scati and Via Cassino.The photovoltaic panel system has been prepared for the production of 0.2 Kw for each housing unit.


Via Nizza, Via Scati and Via Cassino. Modules used: Advent Solar Type: Polycrystalline Number Modules: 33 Total peak power: 1.86 kWp Total occupied profit area: 37.49 m²

Solar thermal:

Via Nizza, Via Scati and Via Cassino Solar collector: UNICAL Tita - nium + Bluetech 2500

Type: forced circulation

Number of manifolds: 25 Opening surface of the single manifold: 2.5 m²

Area occupied: 71.38 m² Collector cover percentage: 68.2 %

Type of accumulation: Single

Nominal volume of accumulation: 1400 lt

Service to which storage is provided: Hot water for healthcare


It is an efficient external shading system created to avoid summer overheating. A metal structure integrates the balcony railings and a screen that filters the solar radiation on the floor below.  Vertical shielding reduces solar radiation on plaster surfaces by reducing surface temperature. Some shielding panels can be used as a support for climbing vegetation which, in addition to ensuring a summer shading becomes an element of the new urban landscape introducing seasonal changes and metamorphosis. District heating. The thermal energy transport and distribution network is the necessary (though not sufficient) means of allowing the environment air conditioning sector access to thermal energy with low environmental impact. District heating and the use of geothermal heat pumps are the two main applications for heat production through geothermal energy. A distinctive feature of district heating is the fact that it is a service that is based on the production of hot water in a thermal power plant located at a more or less important distance from the points of use to which it is supplied by distribution networks, eliminating traditional boilers. District heating then moves from the logic of buying a fuel to purchasing the final product of heat. And along with this are also provided management, maintenance and service services. It was therefore opted for the installation of highly efficient centralized heat generators to meet the energy needs of several housing units, introducing a system of individual consumption management and accounting.


The design, technological and plant choices adopted have allowed the achievement of a high energy class.

Via Nizza - Housing: Energy class A

Via Nizza - Common Spaces: Enrgetic Class A+

Via Scati: Energy class B

Via Cassino - Housing: Energy Class B

Via Cassino - Shops: Energy class A+.

Items inserted:

1)Heat pump system for the distribution of district heating.

2)By means of the evaporative process vegetation helps to cool the air and filter the light.

3)The inclination of the summer sun's rays is intercepted by the horizontal sunscreen slats and the adjectives that allow to shield the south-facing façade from the sun in the warm months without preventing the view outwards. Thermally cut fixtures with selective glass reduce thermal fords.

4)CIS thin film photovoltaic panels.

5)The lower inclination of the winter sun's rays allows natural lighting of the rooms and guarantees the active thermal damage by irradiation.

6)Double-layered lateriazio wall type with interposed inner tube

7)Solar thermal panels.