An open international ideas competition has been announced for a micro-brewery and beer garden within Bologna’s historic Villa Zarri complex (Deadline: 31 January)
Backed by Italian brandy maker Villa Zarri, the Experiential Beer Garden contest seeks ‘original and charming’ proposals to transform a disused distillery building and the garden and cellar of the 16th-century Neoclassical house.
The project, developed in partnership with the Italian Association of Industrials, will deliver a series of temporary garden structures as well as a new craft brewery, shop, beer hall, restaurant and tasting area.
According to the brief: ‘The goal is to restore the building’s architectural and functional consistency and to make the new centre as magnificent and beautiful as the surrounding park and the villa.
‘It will be a harmonious complex, where the exchange between Classical style and contemporary style and between nature and architecture, will create an original and charming work of art, capable of becoming internationally famous.’
The large villa is situated in Castel Maggiore on the main road from Bologna in northern Italy. It was constructed in 1578 and significantly restored during the 18th century by the Emilian aristocrat Marquis Nerio Lorenzo Pietro Angelelli.
The Zarri family purchased the rural site, surrounded by the picturesque Emilia-Romagna countryside, after the Second World War and transformed it into a distillery complex. In recent years the family has restored the villa’s upper levels to create an events space and craft beer production area.
The latest project is part of plans to modernise the site and create a regional landmark drawing visitors to the area, which is poised for major road improvements and new retail and leisure-led development.
At the heart of the project will be a laboratory demonstrating the brewing process and featuring museum-style glazed viewing areas and raised walkways. Applicants are also encouraged to harness transparent materials to ensure the beer garden and brewery are visible from nearby streets.
The competition is organised by Young Architects Competitions, and the contest language is English. Submissions must include one A1-sized presentation board alongside five A3 scale plan drawings and one project cover page.
The winners are set to be announced on 6 March, with overall winner receiving €8,000. There will also be a second prize of €4,000, third prize of €2,000 and two gold mentions worth €500 each, along with 10 honourable mentions.
How to apply
The deadline for submissions is 31 January.
Early bird registration from 17 October to 21 November: €50
Standard registration from 22 November to 19 December: €75
Late registration from 20 December to 23 January: €100
Pepys Building case study: Q&A with Sidell Gibson Architects
The London practice discusses lessons learned transforming a historic building within Greenwich’s historic Old Royal Naval College into a new restaurant and micro-brewery
How did your Pepys Building project create a new bar and craft brewery within the Old Royal Naval College complex?
The microbrewery, café and restaurant form one part of the Discover Greenwich visitor centre located within the converted Grade II-listed Pepys Building and environs. Both are required to function discretely and also as part of a whole. The bar and café complex was created by forming a new connection between the east wing and the adjacent old brewery building. This new intervention, designed to the same scale and form as the existing context, contains the kitchen and glazed link between the bar and café. The surrounding enclosed courtyard was opened up through the careful addition of new openings within the building fabric. The result is architecture that provides seamless integration of new and existing elements and simple patterns of public circulation and flexible operational modes.
Which architectural, material, structural, conservation and other methods did you harness?
The design involved the removal of extraneous building fabric to expose core elements including historic brick vaulted structures. The team worked closely with English Heritage and the Museum of London on areas of archaeology and history that were uncovered and subsequently preserved and incorporated into the final building. Recycled materials were also employed throughout, including bricks from the Old Royal Naval College site and York stone from the National Maritime Museum site nearby. New materials such as terrazzo flooring and the exposed steel gantry system, supporting the brewing equipment, have been used sympathetically throughout the development. This consistent use of materials, architectural detailing and colour themes helps to unify and draw together the different functions within the centre.
What issues might be important when designing a new experiential beer garden for the Villa Zarri complex?
Understanding and working with the unique building features and characteristics can provide inspiration. However it will be important to strike the right balance between respecting the ‘spirit of the place’ while being free to express a new purpose. Accessibility is also an important consideration. The design ethos should focus on bringing the public into the heart of the building by direct and unimpeded routes. Finally, environmental considerations such as natural or passive ventilation should be investigated to promote a sustainable approach throughout the development.