Dezeen Magazine

Maurizio Bradaschia adds green-painted extension to an Italian police station

The green finish applied to the metal cladding of this police station extension in Italy resembles oxidised copper, but also aims to evoke the "power and invincibility" of The Incredible Hulk (+ slideshow).


Located in the Italian town of Saluzzo, the extension to the local police headquarters functions as a barracks. It was designed by Trieste-based architect Maurizio Bradaschia, who has previously completed similar projects in his home city and other local municipalities.


But unlike Bradaschia's other barrack designs, the Saluzzo project involved an extension rather than the development of a new building.


The police station – known as the stazione di carabinieri in Italian – is located in a historic part of town but is housed in an unattractive 1960s block, so Bradaschia felt free to give the new addition its own character.


"I wanted to create a building that would meet the typological theme of a barracks and therefore express a character of strength, solidity and urban reference," the architect told Dezeen. "At the same time it provides an architectural element in a context of little value to trigger an urban renewal."


The foundations, pillars and slabs are all formed from concrete, while the entire exterior is covered in green-painted sheet metal. This was chosen because it was cheaper than the oxidised copper that its green hue replicates – demonstrated by projects including a lagoon-side residence in China.


"It is green because historically green was the colour of the carabinieri and their cars," Bradaschia explained. "Green means strength, endurance, balance, stability, and perseverance. And it is metal to give a sense of unity, of force, of power – think of the colour of The Incredible Hulk – of invincibility."

The cladding is applied in vertical courses of different widths to create a more interesting pattern on the facades, which are further animated by the misaligned window and door openings.


The extension annexes the original block at one end and creates a new boundary with the street that continues the existing building line. Its inner facade flanks a steep ramp providing access to a garage.


The first floor is dedicated to the living quarters, which comprise five double-berth en-suite rooms and a shared laundry room.


The ground floor houses a large communal dining area flanked on one side by a changing room with a toilet. On the other side is a kitchen and store room that can be used as a meeting area if required.


A further storage space and an archive room are located in the basement level next to the garage.


"The organisation of the plan responds on one hand to the demands of the clients, and on the other hand reflects the distribution patterns of the organisation of the carabinieri's buildings and their corporate architecture," said the architect. "It is a rigorous and functional scheme without unnecessary frills."


The existing building originally housed apartments and features a pitched roof and masonry facades, which contrast with the flat roof and metal cladding Bradaschia chose for the extension.

Site plan – click for larger image
Lower ground floor plan – click for larger image
Ground floor plan – click for larger image
First floor plan – click for larger image
Second floor plan – click for larger image
Section one – click for larger image
Section two – click for larger image
Section three – click for larger image