CUBO is a multimedia artistic space, designed and created to house the collective memories of Unipol, thus marking the 50th anniversary of its foundation. Thus it was commissioned to commemorate the origins of the Group, its growth and development, and it is aimed at all those who have taken part in this history, piecing it together through their own hard work: employees, agents and more in general all the stakeholders who revolve around Unipol. CUBO is also a meeting space, open to the neighbourhood, the city and the entire territory, conceived and structured so as to be freely accessible to all the citizens of Bologna, and well as tourists and foreign visitors. Its location on the outskirts of the city, yet close to the company headquarters, reflects the intention to lead people to partake in new experiences, bringing life into new territories and understanding a new society, one shaped by migration and integration. CUBO is also a multi-functional space: for art, history, cinema, safety, acknowledging the identity of citizens, considering the present, updating the memory of places, people and of society. The aim of the project is to fill the rooms, day after day, in order to satisfy curiosities linked not only to the history of Unipol, but also to offer experiences which are forever unique and extraordinary.
Technology and new media are taking on ever more pervasive roles in people’s lives, modifying the forms of communication and the places in which we live, work and spend our free time. In architecture, the digital avant-garde is opening up new fields of exploration and different ways of conceiving, planning and creating. The environments may be interpreted as media, capable of narrating a story and translating complex materials into new, simple and natural languages. The study of volumes, shapes and materials thus fuses with software planning, interaction and technologies, thus creating an architecture which unites the digital sphere, space and materials. The CUBO media-architectural project was designed with the aim of creating an environment which was not only constantly in communication with the people experiencing it, but also with the rest of the city and indeed the world. The leitmotiv of CUBO is openness and the overarching view of spaces. This principle served as an inspiration for each individual project experience, and the approach turned out to be of fundamental importance in order to plan the lighting systems. Alongside architecture, the interactive installations and the media used aim to recount the values and history brought together in the philosophy of making complex topics simple. CUBO is not simply experienced by the visitor, but it’s the visitors themselves who interact intensely with other visitors and with their surroundings.
The planning of CUBO spaces was inspired first and foremost by natural light. The safeguarding of its homogeneity, ensured by great mirroring surfaces of the external window fittings, was a cornerstone of the design of the technical lighting systems, the linearity of which underpins the functions and the spaces allocated throughout the floor. The illuminating bodies trace vertical lines, covering the surrounding walls, and horizontal ones to form a ceiling. The overall effect is that of a great shining portal, which endows the rooms with a shared atmosphere of diffused light, which may be regulated in terms of warmth, quality and quantity. Every single element is controlled by an automatic management system, hooked up to our IT systems which – thanks to a sensor placed on the covering of the building – supplements the supply of daylight with a flexible and self-regulating amount of artificial light. As it gets dark in the evening, the system guarantees a natural shift towards an effect which is at the same time both soft and diffused. In order to achieve the results described, a system of wooden beams with an aluminium ‘heart’ containing the light elements (thus hidden from sight) was especially designed and produced, and which at the intrados host other, visible ones, necessary for creating the suitable effects for staging the activities of the centre and for creating contrasts and focus points on the works of art in the Culture Space. The attention given to light created the right bases on which to implement those project lines which would then model the surrounding spaces. The most challenging aspect was to transfer complex materials and to transmit large amounts of information, using media which are both simple and at the same time stimulating and enjoyable to use. In order to achieve this, the visit to CUBO was conceived as a multi-sensorial experience, in which access to contents takes place through touch, movement, sight and hearing. The technological platform was designed so as to be constantly updated in terms of contents and the interaction systems, thus making CUBO a space in constant evolution. This principle also guarantees that CUBO remains a lively and ever-growing space.
CUBO inaugurated March 26, 2013 on the occasion of Unipol 50th anniversary.
Commisioned by: Unipol S.P.A.
Communication and Contents: Togo Visual Action
Communication and Contents: Togo Visual Action
Building Construction: Visual Exhibition
Architectural 3D Render: Alex Lomarco
Photo Shooting: Mattia Santini
LED Display and Lighting: efour
Internal Lighting System: Zumtobel
Audio System: d&b audiotechnik
Media System Forniture: Qualitech, Pqlabs, Samsung, HP, Nec, Microsoft.