Hilla_ Drawing As An Act Of Bold Simplicity
Tomaso Boano (Architect), UNO8A (Architect) & Maria Eugenia Beizo (5th year Student at UBA-FADU, Buenos Aires)
Hilla is a punctual insertion, a gentle blooming of concrete in the existing context. Drifting from the banal and obvious, Hilla aims to stand out bold but elegant, creating new spatial relationships whilst singing a two-way monologue with the horizon.
The site presents on one side the Italian beauty of Villa Zarri, and on the other, the industrial charm of the ageing cellars. Hilla has the tough task to join these two completely different architectural artefacts together. Although, aesthetic diplomacy is not involved in here. Hilla is an architecture able to listen, but willing to point out the direction to follow.
Object of the brief is to create a new centre to promote the local beer crafting, including a museum, a shop, a restaurant, and a series of pavilions placed in the park for beer tasting.
Hilla took shape following a series of design considerations. The first step has been investigating the architectural qualities of the existing spaces, in order to retain but maximise their peculiar traits. The most valuable character of the ageing cellars is the vaulted roof and the way it deals with light. Hilla preserves the existing roof as much as possible, but at the same time acknowledges the difficulties of fitting the whole brief in such a tight volume.
Instead of splitting the cellars on two low-height and dense levels, Hilla prefers to grow outside, adding an unexpected quality to the whole scheme by introducing a panoramic platform above.
The inside space of the cellars is characterised by two simple long sticks placed on top of each other. These objects have different aesthetic qualities. The first stick, placed at ground floor, is a solid and textured element which hosts a shop, the storage and all the services needed.
On top of this element sits the second stick, which cantilevers in the open space clamped around the existing columns. Shaped as a naked truss, it exhibits the process of the beer crafting with an industrial aesthetic quality. Besides, it creates a long ledge able to modify the restaurant situated at the ground floor, splitting this area in two zones.
The sticks are the base of the concrete Brutalist-like funnel above, the real protagonist of the project. It’s porosity is married with a sinuous curve, able to dialogue with the Baroquish decorations of Villa Zarri.
The name Hilla is an homage to Bernd and Hilla Becher, the two photographers that devoted their life to portray industrial architecture.
Who influences you graphically?
It’s hard to choose someone or something that influences our work. Each project is unique, and is often the result of a transient fascination for an architect, a shape, a texture, a photograph. The idea and the graphic representation are always very tight together, but they simply result in something we really like to draw.
Hilla is the bold and patchy outcome of a combination of Bernd & Hilla photographs, exposed aggregate concrete, Italian moka funnels, Hanna-Barbera Cartoons and IPA beers.
What dictated the method of representation of the project?
Each time we approach a competition we want to enjoy the design process and always experiment new aesthetics that are fun and meaningful (at least to us!). We usually start by sharing everything we find stimulating and can contribute to the brief. Then each project self-determines itself through discussions, sketches, sensational U-turns and ecstatic glimpses of perfection.
You explore your proposal through all means of representation, do you trust that only like this is it possible to fully convey a project?
It depends. We wanted to avoid the deceitfulness of a render and a typical collage, opting for one main illustration performing like a manifesto. Here an illustration is combined with a slicing double-section able to offer a complete understanding of the project within one single image. If representation is communication, our message is that we don’t design attention-seeker architectures, but colorful results of a personal research. Each graphic choice is calibrated to convey a sense of clear, yet engaging, bold simplicity.
What influenced the choice of colour palette?
I wouldn’t ask “what”, but “who” – and the answer is Maria Eugenia Beizo. She is the artist here, nobody knows what goes on in her mind.
Boano Prišmontas is a young London-based architectural firm, founded by Tomaso Boano and Jonas Prišmontas. The practice focuses on small scale and self-built architecture that is both inspiring and functional. We like to play, craft, design, make, doubt, investigate, and challenge ourselves and the world around us. Our design process is rooted on energy and passion for Architecture. Each project embodies the opportunity to explore, investigate and expose what lies beneath our ideologies, icons, preconceptions and superstructures. From construction details to graphical representation, we strive to discover when architecture conveys an innocent sense of wonder – a key aspect to inform and shape our cities and memories.
UNO8A is an architecture team founded in Genoa (Italy) in 2014 by architects Beatrice Moretti and Fabrizio Polimone. UNO8A develops architecture and urban projects and works in interior design, with particular focus in residences and private offices. In all these occasions, UNO8A also designed bespoken pieces of furniture for kitchen and bathroom. UNO8A researches and investigates each project with a non-continuous and adaptable approach, where architecture is the end result of an endless sequence of iterations and attempts. UNO8A explores this creative process by frequently taking part in national and international competitions, and also within the academic activities at the Polytechnic School of Genoa.
Maria Eugenia Beizo lives in Buenos Aires, but we firmly believe she is the queen of an imaginary world made of colours and textures. Probably all the illustrations she produces are actual memories of something she has seen or experienced in her parallel universe. This makes us extremely jealous, proud and thankful at the same time.
Some say that she is finishing studying architecture and graphic design. In her free time she draws comics, works as an illustrator and studies animation. We still don’t know if she is real or just an hologram.