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AZPA scoops International Film Festival cinema refurb comp

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London-headquartered practice AZPA has won a competition to refurbish a cinema complex in Locarno for the Swiss city’s International Film Festival

Alejandro Zaera Polo’s practice, in partnership with local firm Dario Franchini, will redesign the Palazzo del Cinema di Locarno.

The £23 million scheme will include major changes to the 6,500m² building and 2,000m² of public realm.

The Palazzo del Cinema will have three cinemas and administrative facilities for the International Film Festival of Locarno.

It will also host a centre of film and audiovisual skills of Italian Switzerland, which deals with training, production, service and coordination of audiovisual.

AZPA’s winning proposal will see the building retain its historic façade but given a major interior makeover.

AZPA architect Guillermo Fernandez-Abascal told AJ Switzerland was a good place to compete for work.

‘When you win a competition you know it will be built. The clients like to move forward quickly, and the money is there,’ he said.

AJ reported in December that AZPA had made the 10-strong list for the Bari Centrale scheme, in partnership with Milan-based practice Metrogramma.

It is competing with nine other teams for the right to masterplan the transformation of this critical slice of Bari, which includes its railway station.

The Locarno scheme could be completed by the end of this year.

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