A Modern Community Space in a Rustic Italian Village

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In the historic Italian village of Frisa, Cimini Architettura has unveiled the Pavilion of Transhumance – a surprisingly contemporary gathering place for the village’s farmers, winemakers and tourists.

Twenty minutes or so from the Adriatic Sea, in the region of Abruzzo, the tiny town of Frisa is marked by little more than olive trees, vineyards, and a small historic city centre. Amongst the rolling hills is where Italian firm Cimini Architettura has constructed a modern community pavilion that, despite being in stark contrast with the neighbouring rustic farm buildings, appears in serene dialogue with the bucolic landscape.

Called the Pavilion of Transhumance, the project site is near the “tratturo del re” – a path system linking the Apulian plains to the Apennine Mountains, historically used as a shepherding route for sheep and cattle, where the shepherds would stop along the way and trade for the wine and olive oil produced in the region.

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That history inspired both the function and form of the Pavilion of Transhumance. The building is intended to “enhance rural traditions and enhance the local tourist routes and products, mainly related to the oil and wine production,” the firm says. “Meetings are organized by farmers, and winemakers, for cultural events, exhibitions and educational activities, and etcetera.”

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Sitting atop a concrete base, the oblong, larch-wood-clad volume symbolically interprets the shepherd route; the glazed openings at the ends of the sloping, tunnel-like building look towards either the sea or the mountain range. To avoid views of the adjacent roadway, the firm added a sharp, upward angle to the ocean-facing end of the pavilion, elevating the window to look out onto the surrounding countryside instead.

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Inside, that angle allows for tiered seating space that is perfectly suited to community gatherings. To allow for a variety of functions, the interior is intentionally sparse, and open. Honey-hued hardwood floors are complemented by white-washed walls and a simple, plywood ceiling containing recessed lighting, powered in part by the photovoltaic panels installed on the pavilion’s roof.

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