La Spezia, SP, Italy
Sun-TIMES is a creative agency founded in La Spezia in 2006 which, over the years, has grown, becoming well-known throughout Italy for developing marketing strategies for major brands such as L’Oréal, Danone and Huawei. Today, our team has around 40 members and in 2016 we opened our first office in Milan, where most of our customers are concentrated. But it is in La Spezia that we started out. It is here where we live and where we want to create something unique.
Sun-TIMES came about from the friendship and enthusiasm of Francesco Pelosi and Nicholas Figoli who have made use of their different skills to create a working environment that bases its strength on people and sees its ability to attract new talent as a driver for future growth.
We are growing quickly and for our new headquarters, we have
chosen a truly unique location for La Spezia: the former Cinema
Located in the heart of the city’s historic centre, it is a reference point
for all La Spezia residents: first a city school, then converted into a
theatre and again into a cinema, finally, in the 20 years until 2009, it
was the most famous porn cinema in the area. There is no-one in La
Spezia who hasn’t heard of the “legendary Cinema Diana”, so the fact
that it has been closed for so long has been a wound for the historic
centre and the concern was that a piece of the city’s history would
end up being turned into an insignificant bingo hall/supermarket.
This is another reason why we chose to take it, enhance it and turn it
back into an icon for our city.
The property is situated in Via Sapri 68, a perpendicular road joining
the two busiest pedestrian streets of the city (Via Prione and Corso
Cavour). It has 3 entrances on the pedestrian street, and is spread
over 3 different levels with surface areas that decrease in size as they
go up (stalls, gallery and projection room) for a total of 400 m² of
usable space and a volume of 3000 m³. Another access at the back
allows you to exit onto Vico delle Mura. A large stairwell connects the
entrance area to the bar area you go through to enter the gallery.
Objectives of the design
We want to maximise the choice of this location by maintaining the
fundamental elements of the current structure but managing to turn
it into a unique workplace where people feel special.
It will be essential to find solutions that are able to put the people
working at Sun-TIMES first, creating optimal working conditions in all
aspects but at the same time making space available so that it can
become multifunctional and able to host projections/events/talks.
Our aim is, in fact, for the Sun-HUB to attract new talent and at the
same time be ready to host events and thus become the reference
point for the city’s creative culture.
The competition notice in question envisages the development of design solutions in 4 key categories: architectural choices, multi-functionality, décor design, rough estimate of costs. Each “qualitative” category will have a maximum score of 30 points, while 10 points will be reserved for the economic part, for a total of 100. The winner will be the participant with the highest score.
Architectural and spatial choices (max score 30/100)
There are currently 40 members in the Sun-TIMES team
(accountants, account managers, programmers etc.).
The design must take into account the historical and structural characteristics of the property and try to make the most of the significant elements of the past without neglecting the quest for a contemporary, forward-looking image. A complete interior restyling is envisaged, with particular attention to stylistic choices as well as functional ones. Safeguarding the identity of the place is one of our priorities. For this reason, structural interventions are only to be considered if really necessary in order to achieve the objectives of the project. Certain elements, such as the main staircase and the stage, must not be demolished, but rather reinterpreted to accommodate the new role the building will take on. The same goes for the gallery, which we would like to maintain but which can, if necessary, be redesigned and demolished and rebuilt in whole or in part. The theme of light is very important. Having first been a theatre and then a cinema, the main hall is very dark. It is possible to envisage holes and/or skylights in the roof and new window openings to ensure adequate natural lighting.
Multi-functionality/flexibility (max score 30/100)
The ground floor, in particular the old projection room, will have to be flexible. It will be necessary to design a space in which it is possible to reserve one part for temporary events such as shows, exhibitions and artistic events, and one part for work activities, using moveable furniture and/or creating sliding walls or other elements.
Décor and supplies (max score 30/100)
Particular emphasis will be given to the choices of décor and style. It is important to have a space that reflects the objectives and expectations of those who work there, therefore specific documents will be required in which the various elements of décor, such as shelves, tables, desks and lights, will be designed in detail, even specifically for the occasion.
Rough estimate of costs (max score 10/100)
A rough estimate of costs is required in which prices will be specified for macro-areas of work (e.g. demolition/new construction, systems, décor). The maximum budget envisaged for the restyling operation is €800,000. The estimate of costs, however rough, must be based on real market prices that can be checked.
The figures for the competition must present:
– a plan layout with a 1:50 scale of each floor that meets the following
30 x open-space office workstations
1 x closed office reserved for the two founders – 20 m²
2 x closed offices for max 4 persons each for a total of 35/40 m² (e.g.
glass cubicles, rooms…)
2 x closed meeting rooms for a total of 30 m²
1 x break area for a total of 30 m²
warehouse space for 25 m²
toilet facilities including disabled facilities for a total of 10 m²
changing rooms for a total of 9 m²