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Competition: Barilla Pavilion, Italy

Barilla's Pedrignano plant in Parma, Italy
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Italian food giant Barilla has announced an international contest to design an experimental visitor centre at its Pedrignano plant on the outskirts of Parma

The two-stage competition seeks ‘unique and unusual’ proposals for an innovative pavilion structure occupying a prominent site at the entrance to the industrial food production complex.

The project aims to deliver an ‘aesthetically beautiful and experience-focused’ venue featuring flexible education spaces where visitors can learn more about Barilla and the wider agricultural region known as the Italian Food Valley. Proposals must be environmentally friendly, respond to the local cultural offering and help reimagine the site while promoting dialogue between the company and the public.

In its brief, Barilla, says it envisages the pavilion ‘as a space bringing together the company and the public; a point of departure for visits to the site, capable of providing an effective setting for the delivery of the complex story of Barilla to visitors.

‘As a one-of-its-kind construction, the new centre will transform the way the Barilla headquarters are used and experienced, providing a quality architectural experience and attracting visitors through the programme of events it will host.

‘We do not see the pavilion as a promotional space, but rather as a house, facilitating a unique and active dialogue between Barilla, the outside world and the future.’

Barilla was founded in 1877 as a bakery shop in Parma by Pietro Barilla. The family owned-business is one of the world’s largest producers of pasta and employs more than 8,000 people in production plants all over the world. The Pedrignano factory was set up in the 1970s.

The pavilion will sit on a prominent site east of the complex, located next to the busy Autostrada del Sole highway.

It will be open to the public 365 days a year and is expected to feature a ‘strong and expressive architectural character’ intended to create a new landmark for Parma and the surrounding food-producing region. A budget for the new structure has yet to be confirmed.

Between seven and ten teams will be invited to participate in the competition’s design phase and will each receive an honorarium. The overall winner will receive a financial prize and be invited to enter into a design contract for the project.

The deadline for applications is 1 June.

How to apply

Visit the competition website for more information

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