Barilla Pavilion is a multipurpose complex proposed on the headquarters of Italy’s world-renown pasta and food manufacturer in Parma, Italy. The pavilion comprises the company’s main visitor center, cooking studios, a museum, a conference center, a flagship store and offices. The pavilion welcomes the guests at the entrance to the company’s headquarters, surrounded in a vast field of wheat.
Two large tetrahedron – pyramid-like structures placed in a perfect balance symbolize the brand’s well-balanced Mediterranean diet motto. In Barilla Pavilion, visitors explore Barilla’s history, discover its diverse universe and think about food culture as a whole. The whole visitor experience of the pavilion emerges as continuous sequences flying through the pyramids. The sequential spiral deploys three dimensionally as apparatus for learning, tasting, creating, and enjoying food culture.
Two sequences, one for the visitors and one for the workers, whirl around and communicate with each other, taking various shapes, traveling through the whole space. The pavilion’s structure comprises three main elements: the truss structures that cover the whole space, sequence spirals floating all around the space, and the box-shaped offices stacked on each other. Spirals and boxes are supported by groups of thin columns, some of which also working as mechanical, electrical and plumbing routes.
The whole space is open with soft sunlight penetrating through the structure. The trusses set membrane layers that let in and scatter natural sunlight. Each membrane unit is controlled to have different openness and permeability depending on time, weather and position of the unit, for shading and ventilation. The main visitor sequence starts from the very top of the pavilion.
As the visitors get off the elevator, the gradient path travels through the whole space, seeing, touching, tasting, smelling, sometimes communicating with the staff and office entrepreneurs. Visitors can choose to take a small picnic on the rooftop view deck, enjoying the panorama of the city of Parma, where the company started, and the state-of-the-art view of the Barilla factory. The experience sequence lands on the main lobby. The Sapori Barilla on the lobby floor features a top-notch cooking studio and a restaurant.
The journey continues underground to the Barilla Collection, a museum for rare pieces of fine art. Here the sequence is concealed in a vault to protect art pieces from sunlight and humidity. The Flagship Store on the other side of the basement offers all the products from Barilla’s lineup for purchase. The symbolic reversed pyramid works as a skylight that guides natural light to the basement. Source by Sasaki Architecture.
- Location: Parma, Italy
- Architect: Sasaki Architecture
- Architect in charge: Ryuichi Sasaki
- Project Team: Gen Sakaguchi, Anna Kwapień, Yuriko Ogura/Sasaki Architecture
- Structure Engineer: Ayumi Isozaki/Schnetzer Puskas Ingenieure AG
- Client: Barilla
- Total area: 15,000m2
- Images: Courtesy of Sasaki Architecture