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Ideas contest held for Italian micro-brewery

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An open international ideas competition has been announced for a new micro-brewery and beer garden within Bologna’s historic Villa Zarri complex

Backed by Italian brandy maker Villa Zarri, the Experiential Beer Garden contest seeks ‘original and charming’ proposals to transform a disused distillery building and the garden and cellar of the 16th-century Neoclassical house.

The project, developed in partnership with the Italian Association of Industrials, will deliver a series of temporary garden structures and a new craft brewery, shop, beer hall, restaurant and tasting area.

‘The goal is to restore the building’s architectural and functional consistency and to make the new centre as magnificent and beautiful as the surrounding park and the villa,’ says the competition brief.

‘It will be a harmonious complex, where the exchange between Classical style and contemporary style and between nature and architecture, will create an original and charming work of art, capable of becoming internationally famous.’

Villa Zarri is situated in Castel Maggiore on a site just outside Bologna in northern Italy, surrounded by the picturesque Emilia-Romagna countryside. It was constructed in 1578 and significantly restored during the 18th century by the Emilian aristocrat Marquis Nerio Lorenzo Pietro Angelelli.

The Zarri family purchased the site after the Second World War, and transformed it into a distillery complex. In recent years the family has restored the villa’s upper levels to create an events space and craft beer production area.

The latest project is part of plans to modernise the site and create a regional landmark drawing visitors to the area, which is poised for major road improvements and new retail and leisure-led development.

At the heart of the project will be a laboratory demonstrating the brewing process and featuring museum-style glazed viewing areas and raised walkways. Applicants are encouraged to use transparent materials to ensure the beer garden and brewery are visible from nearby streets.

The contest is organised by Young Architects Competitions, and the competition language is English. Submissions must include one A1-sized presentation board alongside five A3 scale plan drawings and one project cover page.

The overall winner, set to be announced on 6 March, will receive £7,140. There will also be a second prize of £3,560, a third prize of £1,780, and two gold mentions worth £450 each, along with 10 honourable mentions.

The deadline for submissions is 31 January.

How to apply

View the competition website for more information

Contact details

Email: yac@yac-ltd.com

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