Project Details

  • Construction Date


  • Location

    Bellinzona, CH 2010

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Bellinzona, Swiss Confederation, 2010

5th Prize

Name: CGS – Youth And Sports Centre
Organizer: Canton Ticino
Project Typology: Culture
Location: Bellinzona, CH
Year: 2010
Competition Typology: Open
Stage: 2nd stage
Result: 5th prize
Firm: B+D+M Architetti
Luigi Pellegrini
Designers: Giorgio Masotti – Structures
Geo Viviani – Fire prevention Systems
Fabio Solcà – Electrotechnical
Tkatzik – HVAC
Bruno Vital – Building Physics
Contributors: Filippo Malachin
Alberta Ziche

The new Bellinzona Youth and Sport center is a building composed of two prisms separated by an open void on the view of the Bellinzona castles.

The two blocks, which house all the functions provided for by the notice, are joined on the first floor by a glazed body that becomes a link bridge at high altitude, leaving free the public path that winds through the historical archive and passes through the public square of the Center up to the floodplain and to the river park.

The transparency of this joining element, and the underlying void, make clear the relationship that the building has with the territory: on one side the open valley and on the other the forest; the rise and fall of the sun; the downhill slope and the uphill slope, and many other opposing and complementary situations.

The close relationship between the various public buildings and the project building is pursued with the demolition of the connecting body between the Statistical Offices and the Hotel School, thus establishing a pedestrian and visual continuity with the State Archives and the wide garden overlooked by the Cantonal Institute of Economics and Commerce.

The main entrance is from the south along the pedestrian axis that departs from the State Archives: via a ramp that leads to a base of about 70 cm, on which you set the building, you enter the wing that houses the educational activities, the classrooms, the administration and the dormitories and, after having passed the open courtyard on the castles, meets, under the glazed connecting prism, the entrance to the school and the Student House located on the opposite side.

The volumes and the image of the building are determined by its clear programmatic structure: a series of common spaces and offices are located on the ground floor of the two buildings; they appear, in the part facing the internal courtyard, as a glazed and transparent base, while the external sides are opaque, made up of prefabricated walls covered with perforated sheet panels.

The housing units, divided into dormitories and the Student House, are instead developed on the two slats on the upper floor, facing one side towards the Hotel and Tourism High School and the other in the direction of the large green sports area. The individual units of the Student House are organized as hotel rooms, and overlook the central courtyard open to the castles. The bedrooms are screened by sliding gusseted panels that hide small private terraces. Even the dorms, located in the other body of double dimensions compared to the Student House and organized in spiral on all four sides, are screened by similar panels.

All the necessary services are concentrated in the center of the building. The dormitories and the student’s house are accessed separately through the dedicated stairwells, on the ground floor, but are connected to the first floor on the central corridor that overlooks the public passage and leads to the large covered spaces that overlook the open courtyard to contemplate the hill of the castle and its bastion system to the east and the forest to the west. Taking advantage of a natural difference in height, it is planned to create a podium that separates the building from public parking lots. The shielded panels of the façade in perforated sheet metal are the modular element that gives expressiveness to the covering. They completely cover the building (with the exception of the large glazed openings on the ground floor) and once opened they run on special rails and acquire thickness, constructing a striking movement that denies the flat and stereometric volume of the building.