The Palatino Centre is located in the area of Porta Palazzo in Turin, one of the oldest area of the city. Within the program of upgrading the entire area, the task of designing the new indoor market hall for clothing was assigned in 1998 to Studio Fuksas, following a public international competition.
The intervention consists of the realization of a five-floor building: two at the underground, the first for a car parking and the second for technological spaces, and three outside for commercial activities and restaurants.
The parking floor contains 110 cars on an area of 4.700 square meters on three levels. A wall separates the excavation for the recovery of the old couple of hypogeum iceboxes.
The main entrance is situated at the ground level, at the south-east side of the building, near the crossroad between Giulio Cesare and Regina Margherita.
The commercial areas are developed along the perimeter of the building, creating in the central part a space-square correspondent to the two hypogeum iceboxes of the XVIII century brought again to light.
The walking area in the ground floor is partially around these pre-existing ice-boxes, where it’s possible to look inside through the wall of the car parking.
The central courtyard on the ground floor is divided by 11 multi-storey prismatic pillars equipped with embedded metal shelves, to support the load of three metal bridges that connect the various floors. The prismatic pillars of the "square" reach 13 feet in height.
The first floor is organized like the scheme of the ground floor with commercial surfaces along the perimeter: shops, coffee shops and a service area for dealers in the south-west corner, reachable through an external access way than runs along the building and through flights connecting the building floors crossing the central empty space, moving further the roof.
The last floor is occupied by the restaurant with panoramic terrace, where you can see a glimpse of the historic centre and the profiles of some of the most beautiful buildings in the city as the Mole Antonelliana and the Guarini Chapel.
The metal roof of the building, highlighted by a zinc coating, follows the design of "clipping" that generated the space and the routes below, allowing the penetration of the natural light through the vertical and horizontal glass floors.
The external facade of the building consists of a system of layers of strips of glass, with a design that is different one another, supported by pairs of steel C-pillars; in the basement, layers of steel gradually replace the applications in glass.
Between this façade and the one in stone there is a space that wraps all the building. Inside, there are the security ramps for the different levels.
The double-layer façade creates a cavity where the fire escape takes place. The gap, located between the exterior glass and steel envelope and the inner stone wall, during the hours of night lighting, makes the Centre shine as it was an "Aladdin's lamp".
Photo credits: Moreno Maggi, Maurizio Marcato, Ramon Prat