Ex Arsenale at Maddalena by
Stefano Boeri Architetti



Italian architects Stefano Boeri Architetti have completed a complex of buildings including a conference centre, exhibition venue and marina in Sardinia.


The project was completed in just 18 months and was commissioned to host the G8 summit later this month - although the summit has now been moved to a different venue.


Situated on the island of La Maddalena in northern Sardinia, on the site of an ex military arsenal, the mixed-use complex is a combination of new builds and conversions.


The G8 summit was recently switched to L'Alquila, a town on the Italian mainland that was devastated by an Earthquate earlier this year.

The architect, Stefano Boeri, is also editor in chief of Abitare magazine.

Here are further details from Stefano Boeri Architetti:


EX ARSENAL AT MADDALENA: challenge accomplished!

A hotel, a congress centre, a conference building, two large exhibition and commercial spaces, a quay for 700 boats, all designed and built within 18 months and in strict respect of the natural landscape and following rigid principles of sustainable architecture.


The requalification and recovery of the ex Military Arsenal on the island of La Maddalena in northern Sardinia have been concluded in record time and will be handed over to their future administrators. Thus, owing to the work of 1600 construction workers, a dozen developers, a large group of professionals and technicians, a vision has been fulfilled, one that confirms the level of distinction of contemporary Italian Architecture.


Initiated a year ago with the scope of hosting the G8 summit, recently moved to the earthquaked zone of L’Aquila, the constructions have reclaimed and equipped an area of 155.000 m2, providing with a series of port, receptive, formative and convention infrastructure that will transform the ex Arsenale at Maddalena into one of the principle nautical poles of the eastern Mediterranean.


Designed by a staff of architects lead by Stefano Boeri, the intervention of the ex-Arsenale (a complex that constitutes the central point of the totality of works planned for the G8 at Maddalena) is a mix of new constructions and reconversions realized with the aim of creating a mixed use complex surrounding the harbor of the ex military Arsenale.

A city within a city, attuned to respond – during the 12 months of the year – to the most advanced nautical requirements of the Mediterranean.



THE CONFERENCE HALL: a glass cube suspended over the water
The Conference Hall, plausibly the most representative of the interventions, is a glass and basalt prism that cantilevers over the water. Almost 2000m2, it is a new construction that hosts – aside from flexible spaces for nautical events – a large conference hall suspended 6 meters above water that looks out towards the extraordinary panorama of the Gallura. A new landmark for the Maddalena Archipelago that reinterprets in visionary key the relation between the power of the surrounding natural elements and the rigorous forms of traditional  Italian military architecture.


The traditional granite arcades of the ex military car fleet have been converted to host commercial, exhibition and formative spaces linked to nautical and touristic activities. The architecture of this articulated series of service spaces is characterized above all by the 10.000m2 white sail-like roof, suspended 10 meters from the ground and equipped with photovoltaic panels for the production of energy.


SPORT AND WELLNESS CENTER AT THE EX BUNKER: the heart of the tourist harbour
A partial intervention of the arcades and the warehouses has converted the ex military Bunker in a 4.000m2 space apt for hosting recreational and sport activities that look out onto the most protected part of the touristic harbour.


THE ARSENALE HOTEL : a small accommodation quarter
On the north side of the ex Arsenale, upon the quay, a small area dedicated to hotel accommodation and services has been created to include a 100 room hotel, a SPA and wellness center, pool, a large restaurant and a 600 seat conference hall.


THE TOURISTIC HARBOUR: a docking and maintenance system for boats of up to 150m
All of the realized structures have been designed to serve, apart from their daily use, the visitors from the 700 spaces for boats available within the128.000 m2 harbor that, guaranteeing a depth of between 4 and 7 meters , develops along 2km of new equipped quays.  The eastern part of the quay will host, in addition to a series of commercial equipment, a large area destined for nautical maintenance.

Due to the incorporation of active design strategies that conserve and value resources such as seawater for air conditioning the buildings and  take advantage of renewable resources such as wind and sun the project is a model of sustainable practice tuned to the improvement and preservation of the extraordinary qualities of the Mediterranean landscape and the natural biodiversity that distinguish the archipelago of La Maddalena.

A MADDALENA G8 project  - January 2008 /June 2009

Architectural design
Stefano Boeri

Michele Brunello (Project Coordination)
Davor Popovic (Project leader Main Conference and Delegate Area)
Barbara Cadeddu  (Project leader Interventions Extra Arsenale)
2+1 Officina Architettura (Responsible architect Definitve Project Arsenale Residence)
Vincenzo Vella (Responsible architect Executive Project Arsenale Residence)
Liverani / Molteni architets (Responsible architect Catering Building)
Marco Brega (Director Studio Stefano Boeri)

Javier Deferrari (Main Conference, Delegate Area)
Andrea Grippo (Masterplan and external areas, Delegate Area)

And with:
Andrea Barbierato (Delegate Area)
Daniele Barillari (Main Conference, Delegate Area)
Mario Bastianelli (Main Conference)
Maurizio Burragato (Delegate Area)
Marco Dessì (External areas)
Marco Giorgio  (Main Conference)
Eugenio Feresin (Arsenale Residence)
Marco Tradori (Arsenale Residence)
Costantina Verzì  (Outdoor areas)

With the contribution of:
Alessandro Astori, Lorenza Baroncelli, Stefano Baseggio ,Kristina Drapic, Moataz  Faissal Farid, Stefano Onnis, , Edoardo Boi , Alessandro Gioffrè , Inge Lengwenus, Piergiorgio Loi, Corrado Longa, Yari Marongiu, Fabrizio Piras, Sebastian Russi, Vittorio Secci, Walter Dejana

Furnishing and Outdoor areas Arredi e Sistemazioni Esterne: Maddalena De Ferrari e Andrea Balestrero A 12
Landscape: Emanuela Borio e Laura Gatti
Technical consultants: Favero & Milan
Lighting: Ferrara Palladino
Video: Attu Studio
Visualization Area 4: Stack Studios
Visualization Area 5: Studio Cast & Ello  e Arch. Gianni Dedola
Models: ON&OFF e Sebastiano Conti Gallienti
Hall and Presidential Suite Hotel Interior Design: Antonio Marras with Stefania Beltrame

General contractor: ANEMONE COSTRUZIONI S.r.l.
MEP Engineering:  ENETEC  S.r.l.

Special thanks to Bodino Engineering, GVM Giulio Vanelli Marmi,and all the other companies that have worked for the realization of the project.

Posted on Wednesday July 1st 2009 at 12:03 am by Brad Turner. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • tommi

    Best ‘rendering’ ive even seen… absolutely unbelievable! juz too real to be truth. i can see its potential in getting a few prizes.

  • charles

    18 months! wow .

    Beautiful project.
    I’d like to see some drawings on the structure though.

  • unreal! looks like it’ll topple into the water at any moment.

  • Indi

    It seems as there is a much more interesting project in the high roofed area over the masonry arches. The decorated box is just too easy to photograph.

  • marcos

    is not a render… is real! or not?

  • What a beautiful building! I love how the horizontal elements seem to slide over one another with the glass cube reaching out into the ocean.

  • One

    Fantastic. Now I know why Stefano Boeri is so famous.

  • I’m with Charles for the drawings, but I guess it’s too late. Inspiring in any case, and I’d like to see it one day.
    Which makes me think of a feature that would be neat to add for built architecture projects you display here : how about a link to Google maps so visitors can save the locations with their Google account ?

  • Booh

    I think that’s a brilliant idea Thibaut! It would be nice to see the context of the projects that Dezeen features, it would also make vacation planning much easier!

  • windbag

    “in strict respect of the natural landscape”
    yes, if the natural landscape was made of concrete wafers
    rather than of curved granite rocks eroded through
    centuries by the wind.
    this is a joke.
    except for this silly statement this is certainly a decent project.

  • Seriously this is some good design! Nice rendering too!

    I would like to see some structural drawings too.

    Well done

  • For those cheering the rendering quality : it’s called photography.

    If you bothered to read the first line : “Italian architects Stefano Boeri Architetti HAVE COMPLETED a complex of buildings…”

  • stefano

    bellissimo progetto. beati quelli che ci hanno lavorato
    ps. non è un render!

  • lmnop

    one of the most beautiful things ive seen in a long time

  • One

    Construction? Why do you ask? The beams are hidden in the roof. Look how acceptable that is. It holds only one floor but it has been solved well.

  • andy

    yeah, reality has a way of seeming a little more realistic than a computer render. What with it being REALITY. It’s a built project guys.

  • D13A

    And to follow…the library project for KAUST was designed in 2006 and published the same year…So, when was this designed? 18 months…that would put it at the start of 2008? Summer 2007? please spare me the brilliance of “original ideas”…

  • john

    the nautical pole looks great, kinda reminds me of some recent SANAA project coz of the slender pillars, nicely juxtaposed to the pre -existing stone arches.
    a pragmatic and sober work.

  • beautiful glass box seems to be floating on the water…

  • shreyank

    i wish there were a few drawings and a structural details…. that would have been great…

  • Seriously good architecture

  • E pre frumoasa .am muncit acolo dar nu am vazut-o terminata…prea frumoasa…sticla e super…adevarat mareata realizata super repede/ 3 sferturi facuta de romanii.

  • aammaa

    love te texture on the building :)))