Polo Fieristico e Palasport di Riva del Garda (Trentino)

Translated title of the contribution: Exhibition Fair and Sportshall in Riva del Garda (Trentino)

Alessandro Melis

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Riva del Garda– Trentino (Italy);
Exhibition fair, sports hall and annexed facilities.
The design belongs to Heliopolis 21, the architecture firm I founded in 1996. I am the author of the design, both as legal representative and in my role of sole design director of Heliopolis 21.
The project’s cost is around 40 Mil Euro and its size is 40,000 sqm.
It includes a sports hall, a concert hall, and an exhibition fair and accompanying services such as restaurants, offices and parking lots. I am currently the design leader of the project by contract; the commission is the result of a two phase international restricted competition. Beyond the resources committed towards such a challenging competition, the percentage of success are much lower than for a peer review Journal submission (A-rated included). Phase one included more than 70 participants (1.5% chance of winning). Among the 10 shortlisted firms were the internationally recognised offices of Mecanoo, Nicholas Grimshaw, Arup, GMP (Von Gerkan, Marg und Partners), Wilkinson Eyre, and Ferrater architectos. The president of the jury was Francois Burkhardt, author of fundamental books on History of Architecture.
The construction design and drawings phase has been completed a few months ago and now the construction site is under preparation. Although ten years have passed since the competition, the complex is not built yet. The project has stood the test of the ensuing economic crisis, change in three transitional regional governments during a period a lot of public funded projects in Italy were cancelled.
The project is identified as “one of the three most important and strategic works of the Region, together with the Muse by Renzo Piano", by the Governor Lorenzo Dellai.
The project’s competition was carried out in partnership with Wolf D. Prix, of Vienna, who has been defined by Francois Burkhardt as “one of the five most important living architects”.
The project has been widely published including prestigious magazines such as Ottagono (Italy) and GA Document (Japan).
Wolf Prix is the founder and director of Coop Himmelblau and perhaps stands tall today as the most important Austrian architecture firm. Wolf is the author of projects such as the BMW headquarters in Munich (BMW Welt) and the European Central Bank high-rise in Frankfurt.
The research value of the project lays in the social importance of the project aimed at the urban regeneration of the industrial area (Riva del Garda is one of the main touristic attractions of Trentino), in the advanced technologies applied to the building (e.g. double skin facades, tele-heating system, innovative use of materials), and in the design methodology, entirely developed through 3D modelling and integrated use of climate sensitive design tool. Evidence of the latter, as a relevant case study, is its publication in scholar and specialized books such as "I professionisti del BIM" (together with Zaha Hadid and Arup case studies).
Translated title of the contributionExhibition Fair and Sportshall in Riva del Garda (Trentino)
Original languageItalian
PublisherEdizioni ETS
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017


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  • Italian restricted competition practice: three illustrative cases

    Melis, A., 22 May 2018, Competition Culture in Europe: Voices. Menteth, W. (ed.). Project Compass CIC, p. 37-43 7 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

    Open Access
  • L'esperienza di Heliopolis 21

    Translated title of the contribution: The experience of Heliopolis 21Melis, A., Apr 2017, I professionisti del BIM. Fabrizio, A. (ed.). Alphen aan den Rijn, The Netherlands : Wolters Kluwer, 3 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingOther chapter contribution

    Open Access

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