GIANFRANCO PANZA

ARCHITECT

2004
Technical department, Chiasso, Switzerland
Competition. With Nicola Andreani
3rd prize

The plot is composed of a recycling station, a parking lot and council’s warehouse, a U-Shaped building with a strong industrial character, built entirely in steel profiles and prefab panels. The new Chiasso technical office building sits on the street side, using a 2.5 m module originated in the concrete prefab interior structure that continues on the perimeter blind fence in order to close the system. The circulation core is articulated around the longitudinal axis, providing dimensional variations in the spaces on both north and south sides.

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1904
Primary School & Multipurpose Hall, Canobbio, Switzerland
Competition. With Nicola Andreani

A T-shape existing primary school stands on its site dividing it in two. While on the southern side a garden exists by the adjacent street and the school itself, the north side remained undefined. The proposal positions two buildings on this side. One houses the additional classrooms that sit on top of the existing prefab structure, while the multipurpose hall takes over the opposite side, creating an urban void in between that acts as an organizer. The project focuses on the scale these buildings should acquire in order to enhance not only its immediate context but also to impact in a major area.

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2001
Kindergarten & Primary School, Vernate, Switzerland
Competition. With Nicola Andreani

The building is located in a very steep plot overlooking Lugano Lake. It grounds itself two levels below street, providing the second floor with access for the Elementary School. A series of stairs run parallel to the retaining walls, acting as the access for the Kindergarten which is located at the ground floor. The building is organized vertically by a central core with circulation, services and HVAC. Concrete slabs run from perimetral steel columns to the core, allowing to maximize flexibility and mutation. The façade alternates openable panels for ventilation and big fixed windows, framing landscape and views.

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1907
Loma House, Salta, Argentina

The house stands in a typical plot between blind walls from neighbours on both north and south sides, making possible to face the building west and est only. It is organized in plan by a structural grid forming 3 spaces, while the section divides two levels of very different heights. The first floor owns the main volume and expands horizontally to the front and rear trees whereas vertically looks up to the sky through the central skylight. Services remain defined and concentrated at both levels, letting net spaces undefined. This simple system may result rigid and banal but deforms itself when life comes into play.

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1906
Saleggi school transformation, Locarno, Switzerland
Competition. With Nicola Andreani

The school is an extension for Architect Schnebli's project for a kindergarten. The building, which was built in 1973, develops in two levels but stays very horizontal in the landscape. It articulates through the plot in various heights, changing volumetrically. The new building tries to recreate these two themes by connecting a portico for exterior activities at the same height of the existing and then attaching the other necessary volumes to it, such as classrooms, lift and exterior stairs. The extension’s architectural language continually tries to put distance and relate to the existing at the same time.

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1901
Music Hall, Valsolda, Italy
Competition 2nd prize. With Nicola Andreani & Andrea Schiavio

The reduced scale of the new Valsolda music school naturally wipes out the specific and static program to propose the maximum volume of free space possible in order to let possibilities unfold. A piazza acts as the access and foyer of the building. A wooden structure with prefabricated panels form the main hall while the underground level contains different classrooms and technical rooms. Circulation is allowed not only in the interior but also externally by connecting the piazza with the underground level patio, providing with autonomy to each level.

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1601
School transformation, Chables, Switzerland
Competition. With Lorenzo Donati, Francesco Sala and Matteo Venezian

A kindergarten and several elderly apartments are to be inserted in an old 1600s farmhouse refurbishment in Chables, located in the Swiss canton of Fribourg. These diametrically opposed programs seek to dwell in the same space as a paradox of life by embedding voids between them. Not distribution but cohesion. Not circulation but interaction. Not temporary but interchangeable.

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1602
Apartment refurbishment, Milan, Italy
With Lorenzo Donati, Francesco Sala and Matteo Venezian

A geometrically precise perimeter made of translucent doors is inserted in this light limited attic. The device provides this inherently residual volume with a new character by being extremely straight forward and radical. New services like bathroom, kitchen and storage are located in the in-between, blurring the new apartment’s notion of size.

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1301
Learning Center, Barcelona, Spain
SIA Master Prize Architettura e Cultura

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Parallel was a genuine meeting point in Barcelona with a strong social character at a pedestrian level. When the car took over the area became a separating spot between very different cities structures. The entire configuration of the project consists in a building that houses a learning center and another that contains apartments and student accommodation. Both buildings try to be clear in their anatomy but suffer a set of manipulations that take them out of their apparent scale, framing old city habits in new conditions.

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1101
Crematory + Columbarium, Paris, France

Today we are confronted with banal buildings of a significant scale. A crematory plus columbarium operates not as a programme but as a catalyst, using its function or content as an alibi for its existence. The building takes the complete block’s length, defining the space in its heart by creating a piazza that faces the entrance of the existing market. The underground level hosts the parking, administration offices and crematories. The structure above ground is conceived as the columbarium itself. The sepulchral vaults containing the ashes are inserted vertically and horizontally in it. The structure would be gradually filled out.

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1201
Mixed-use Tower, Boston, USA (WISH)

The project faces the topic of building above highway level. A mixed-use tower is articulated around a courtyard creating generous terraces overlooking the city landscape in different directions. In the lower part is located a shopping mall, surrounded by a crown of houses for low and medium income; in the central part, a sequence of parking floors and, in the upper part, the most valuable residences. Five large cores containing vertical circulation rise up from the only few buildable points at the highway level. These articulate a structural system of V elements that support a series of compressed and tensioned pillars that allow an efficient load distribution.