The Old House and its garden
The garden of the Casalgrande Padana Old House, designed by architect Kengo Kuma, has been honoured with the “Brand&Landscape Award 2016”. The reason why it won this award? The way it virtuously integrates architecture with the landscape, within industrial spaces and places. The garden represents a way of promoting a new vision of our working, production and research environments.
Promoting the local area: a journey that started in 2010.
In 2010, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the company, Casalgrande Padana started to promote its places of production and the landscape, by building a piece of high architectural and landscape quality: Casalgrande Ceramic Cloud, abbreviated to CCCloud. A spectacular landmark designed by master architect Kengo Kuma, to whom we have dedicated an article.
Our partnership with the Japanese architect then continued with the renovation of the Old House, a quintessential Reggio Emilian countryside farmhouse, which survived deep-rooted industrial changes to the area. The Old House was completely refurbished, and turned into an historical archive and documentation centre. Today, the Old House also hosts exhibitions and cultural events.
As well as master Kengo Kuma’s work, we would also like to recall the landmark designed and built by Casalgrande Padana in partnership with Daniel Libeskind: the Casalgrande Ceramic Crown, the design and creative aspects of which we discuss in greater depth in this article.
A house, a garden, a vision: architecture and the landscape.
With regard to the Old House, it should be pointed out that works were not just limited to the house, which was subject to “exact, precise and ‘light’ works that restored the building’s functionality and structural stability, broadening its possible uses’, but also extended to the surrounding space, creating a visual and virtual link with other pieces by master Kuma, the production site and the surrounding landscape.
It is this very garden/orchard that has been awarded the special prize of the competition run by the Italian National Council of Architects, Planners, Landscape Architects and Conservationists and international magazine PAYSAGE TOPSCAPE. The Brand&Landscape Award 2016 sought to reaffirm the social function of architecture, an important moment for reflecting on the delicate relationship between industrial places and nature, between production and the land, between the community and the places in which it lives and works.
The Japanese garden, the levity of ceramics.
The Old House, with its solid structure that skilfully communicates with the outdoor spaces, is a symbol of commingling and fusion between natural and industrial spaces, between the environment and the workplace. In the espalier orchard behind the building – rich in 170 varieties of apple trees planted in sunburst patterns to make the CCCloud the focal point – the pathways are made from white ceramics, with disconnected slabs that don’t ever touch and seem to float on the gravel, as light as air. This is typical of the Japanese garden and just what master Kengo Kuma loves doing, having infused his cloud of ceramics with the same levity.
The awards were presented during the International ‘Brand&Landscape’ Symposium, an initiative which the Italian orders of architects and Paysage organised as part of the XXI International Triennale di Milano.
More information on the Old House can be found on the website www.casalgrandepadana.it, on this page. A gallery rich in photographs and evocative snaps, which is regularly updated, can be found on our Pinterest account, here.