3,000 sq m of the 6,000 sq m total area are dedicated to the showroom which took 26 months to complete. These are some of the figures of the new Bonaldo company showroom in Padua, Italy designed by Mauro Lipparini and officially opened in June 2011. Italian company Bonaldo won its tenth Good Design Award for this important institutional intervention.
The new showroom was created by an architectural reinterpretation of an old Bonaldo factory unit that had been closed since 2006. The total area of 6,000 sq metres is divided into two floors: on the ground floor there is the showroom and the visitors area, upstairs there are offices, meeting rooms and the company museum. The two floors are connected by a completely illuminated staircase, which is important from both an architectural and graphical viewpoint.
The outside of the building has also been carefully designed so that it fits in unobtrusively with the environment. The external surface is completely covered with concrete framed glass blocks: non standard size 30x30cm thick blocks manufactured exclusively for Bonaldo with an undulating surface were used.
Every element has a polished finish so that it captures light and ensures that the whole façade reflects in an irregular manner, creating a face of luminous waves. The route towards the entrance responds to the “open” character of the space and all the elements conspire to “inviting” the visitor in. First and foremost the path made up of 30 stepping stones made of stone coming from the Chinese regions of Jiangxi and Fujian. Oriental culture considers these stones auspicious particularly for work. Their surface changes with temperature, creating charming floral veins of differing kinds, especially in winter. The stones are arranged in a particular pattern which is typical of Zen gardens, where these stones are widely used.