During the 1990s the Finiper development group bought the former Alfa Romeo site and dreamt of what would become the largest commercial retail centre in Italy. This is IL CENTRO, an innovative project by Design International commissioned by Finiper in June 2014 in which the architect Davide Padoa, chief executive of Design International, designed a shopping centre which offers a real city street connecting the centre of the town to the market, passing through a large number of retail outlets distributed throughout the urban space. The architect has created an innovative experience linked to food with Iper la Grande, enhanced by the presence of one of the largest covered retail spaces dedicated to fashion in Europe, located on the opposite side of the site.
Entering the centre you are greeted by an authentic market square consisting of a series of superimposed squares with newsagents, cafes, florists … The supermarket has been broken down into its various departments (fruit and vegetables, desserts and pastries, fish, butchery, dairy products) which have been divided into stalls and scattered around inside the commercial space. The entrance to the supermarket is not blocked by the usual row of check-out counters which has been moved to the lower section of the Iper in order to best accommodate customers and to present a new concept of “doing the shopping”.
Even the restaurants and bars have been distributed throughout the mall in order to create a widespread and continuous choice of catering. All the space is characterized by huge windows that allow daylight to enter thus giving the impression of being outdoors and eliminating the suffocating sensation of being “closed” in a shopping centre.
Trees have been planted directly in the ground inside the building to enhance the country road effect and will actually grow inside the centre. All the space has been achieved through a rhythmic sequence characterized by elements such as large buildings, staircases, squares, seating areas and trees, but from time to time these are rotated and alternated in order to break the typical monotony of shopping centres.
The whole architectural project was brought to fruition by three people, namely Architect Zappa, De Lucchi and Padoa.
Haven’t you seen it yet? Before you rush off to do your shopping, have a look at the Centre on the il centro site.