The new Business Center of the Sicilian Region will be built in the heart of Palermo. For its facades stone materials from different Sicilian provinces were chosen.
«An architecture of the territory, between city, sea, and mountains, rooted in the public soil of the city and turned to the Sicilian landscape, through a panoramic path of discovery of its unmissable horizons. A new “piece” of the Mediterranean city that, through its squares and its vibrant foundation, offers an intense urban space, open to citizens, serving its inhabitants. The project will bring light to and animate the district, the city, and the Sicilian territory». With these words François Leclercq, with his studio Leclercq Associés winner – together with Nicolas Laisné Architectes, Clément Blanchet Architecture, the engineering and architecture studio Tekné s.p.a. and Base Paysage for the landscape – of the international competition for the New Business Centre of the Sicilian Region.
In a reinterpretation of the urban Mediterranean model, the buildings will rise to 120,000 m² and will be divided around a central street and three squares. Designed in the name of tranquility and accessibility, with flexible working spaces and meeting places for employees of the Region, large terraces, cafes, and dining options, emerge as a welcoming place for all citizens. On the ground floor, open to the city, there will be several functions intended for all: an auditorium, shops, cafes and restaurants, a spa, a fitness center, a church, a kindergarten, a school complex, a library, and an artistic space. On the sixth floor of the complex, a roof garden from which you can enjoy a view of the sea and the Sicilian mountains.
The buildings will have wooden and steel structures and facades made of natural stone – basalts, limestone, sandstone – from different quarries in the region. The layout and orientation of the buildings have been designed according to the direction of the winds, to enjoy a natural cooling. The sensitivity of the project to environmental sustainability has determined the landscaping and the choice of plant species, which contribute to mitigate atmospheric phenomena.
An architecture that, in the words of Clément Blanchet, stands as an «urban device, closely connected to the ground».