GBPA Architects and Dromo have merged their names with the historic Porsche brand, designing the Porsche Experience Center in Castrezzato (Brescia), a complex open to the public in which customers and others can enjoy the full Porsche experience.
The one in Franciacorta is the eighth in the world, after Leipzig, Silverstone, Atlanta, Le Mans, Los Angeles, Shanghai and Hockenheim, the first in Italy and the largest Porsche Experience Center, with a total area of 559,000 square metres and an investment of over 26 million euros.
Specifically, GBPA Architects, the design company of architects Antonio Gioli and Federica De Leva, has been entrusted with the rethinking of the areas and buildings outside the track (paddock, landscape, building).
Dromo srl, an engineering company specialising in racetracks and founded by Jarno Zaffelli, was entrusted with the design of the tracks.
The reason for the choice of the location was the presence of the old Franciacorta racetrack, completely redesigned by Dromo.
The main building is the new Customer Center, a highly iconic element of the entire Porsche Experience Center. GBPA Architects focused on an architecture of great visual recognition that would immediately bring the guest of the complex into the world of the brand.
Eleven low-slung glulam arches, with a pitch of nine metres, a maximum height of 16 metres and a span of 55 metres, form an imposing 4500 square metre hangar which, under a single glossy white roof (in line with Porsche colours), unites people and cars in a complete experience path.
In an alternation of opaque and transparent surfaces, the Customer Center is a multifunctional complex organised, according to a three-dimensional distribution, around a full-height central square, the Agora: from here, at a single glance, it is possible to grasp the dynamism of the various functions housed on the ground and first floors, from the offices to the Simulation Lab, the Business Centre, the restaurant and cafeteria and the shop. Two staircases that also serve as terraces transform the Agora into a kind of theatre, while a walkway on the upper floor, transversally joining the two wings of the hall, creates a backdrop for the stage, where the Porsche car and the customer are the real protagonists.
By dimensioning spaces and paths and providing a system of dedicated ramps and lifts, the car is the star of the Customer Centre to the point that it can easily conquer all the environments: it is not surprising if you meet a car in the meeting room or even in the restaurant. The latter function is housed in a glass cube suspended on pillars, which breaks the uniformity of the building’s roof and creates a visual link with the other distinctive elements of the Porsche Experience Center, the Boulevard, the Training Center and the track.
The Masterplan also included a Training Center, dedicated to the training of Porsche personnel working in Italy and equipped with a special classroom that also allows visitors to watch some of the technical sessions as spectators. The Training Center is linked to the Customer Center by a long boulevard with landscaped areas.
To complete the Porsche experience, the Simulation Lab, dedicated to virtual reality driving, allows visitors to try out all classic and modern Porsche models on the world’s most famous circuits.
For more information visit www.gbpaarchitects.com.
Client: Porsche Italia Spa
Integrated design and artistic direction: GBPA Architects
Project consultant systems: Esa Engineering srl
Structure project consultant: Fa.Ma. Ingegneria srl
Lighting design consultant: Voltaire Lighting Design
Design, specialised management of tracks and routes: Dromo
Race Control project consultant: DZ Engineering srl
Project Management and Works Management: Arcadis Italia srl
Construction companies: Tonelli Ingegneria srl (structures); Tecnomont Service srl (facades);
Korus international (General Contractor); CarBa srl (tracks); ATFI (track approved paints)