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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

La Fonte Gym in Sesto Fiorentino, Italy by Fabio Capanni Workshop

February 29th, 2012 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: Fabio Capanni Workshop

Each and every project realized by Leonardo da Vinci, whether a building or a model airplane, was inspired by the human body. As such, this gym on the outskirts of Sesto Fiorentino, near Florence, can be considered a tribute to Leonardo’s work and genius. The copper plates covering the exterior of the gym makes the building look like muscle fiber. Thanks to the nail-less mounting, the plates are free to move and expand in accordance with one of copper’s key characteristic.

Image Courtesy KME S.p.a.

  • Architects: Fabio Capanni Workshop
  • Project: La Fonte Gym
  • Location: via Boito 5, Sesto Fiorentino, Firenze, Italy
  • Project and supervision of works: Fabio Capanni
  • Collaborators: Gabriele Bartocci, Daniele Buzzegoli, Frida Gramaccioni
  • Structures and systems: Stefano Palazzesi
  • Customer: Municipality of Sesto Fiorentino
  • Builder: IN.G.IOVI. S.r.l. – Afragola (CS) Idroflorence S.r.l. – Badia a Settimo, Scandicci (FI)
  • Chronology:1997-2000: project; 2001-2003, 2006: realization
  • Dimensional data: 1.800 mq lot surface, 600 mq building surface, 4.000 mc building volume
  • Photography: Christian Richters, by courtesy of KME S.p.a.

Image Courtesy KME S.p.a.

The sheets are assembled on a reticular structure made of zinc-coated iron clad with wooden slats and their curvilinearity determines the undulation of the copper ribbons, which are mounted with simple joints, avoiding the use of nails or other fasteners and allowing them to shift according to thermal dilation. In this way, the building is a kind of organic fragment that lives with the seasons almost as if it were a natural element.

Image Courtesy KME S.p.a.

Built to serve as a gym for a pre-existing town school, La Fonte is an independent building and can also be accessed by private users. The space is organized in two simple orthogonal volumes, designed to be inexpensively prefabricated. The main structure is made of prestressed concrete and is similar to the industrial hangars one find in the Sesto Fiorentino area. The smaller volume, clad with travertine is where changing rooms and utility rooms are located, whereas the bigger volume is used for sports.

Image Courtesy KME S.p.a.

The geometry is once again rather simple: both sections are rectangular in plan, with a corridor joining them and giving access to the various rooms. The simple geometry of the interior contrasts with the variety and complexity of materials used in the exterior, which determines the importance and value of the project, small though it is.

Image Courtesy KME S.p.a.

The choice of copper for the exterior is striking; the metal’s flexibility to form and structure makes the building look like a giant lung, able to breathe and make the surrounding area breathe. The breathing metaphor thus draws a parallel with the very purpose of the building: the practice of sports.

Image Courtesy KME S.p.a.




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Category: Gymnastics Centre

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