Alperia Tower

Cladding for a heat storage reservoir

Valentina Bonato Architetto, Museum 39 Studio Architettura & Artist Julia Bornefeld

Steel Structures448 ton
Façades3.700 sq.m.

The filmic contribution of The Piranesi Experience, directed by Claudio Esposito, accompanies us through an unedited journey where a fine line is drawn between structure and Architecture.

The reservoir tower of the Alperia district heating plant in Bolzano combines technical innovation with a certain artistic preference, produced by a singular backlit perforated panelling, which adds value to the structure.

The camera’s initial shotsslip through the tower’s double skin –first through its thick metal cage structure, then through a perforated mask of anodized aluminium.

With the notes of Populous’s unpublished musical contribution, the reservoir turns on its coloured reflectors that uniformly emit light, starting with the holes in the cladding thus mimicking the frontal exterior of a building in which the first façade lights mark the dawn of a new day. The camera now pans out fluidly embracing the tower in its entirety as well as from every perspective. The congruous relationship between the Alperia tower and its context is also revealed: the towers of Castel Firmiano stand out against the fortress, while the various main high ways of the city penetrate the valley of the south-western outskirts of Bolzano.The colours of the day leave space for the evening. And, the photography of Fabio Paolucci expertly captures the passage of a bystander. The moving light spreads from the façade and synchronizes with the lights of the city,which are preparing for nightfall.

The Alperia tower now emanates its structural essence by turning on the LEDs and transforming itself into a dynamic architecture that converses with the skyline on the horizon.

Hence, the structure transforms into architecture and Architecture in turn becomes Art.


Key facts

height    44,5 m
diameter    ca. 20
floors    13
stairway    208 steps

Steel structures:
304 tons of steel
    - 117 welded steel elements
    - 1 steel element has nearly 100 m of welding lines
    - maximale dimensions of 1 element 1,5 x 3 x 12 m

25 tons of aluminum sheets
    - 663 aluminium sheets for the outer facade
109 different aluminium sheets 1,5 x 3 m
1225 holes between 0,4 - 2,2 m of diameter
    - 168  aluminium sheets inside
17 tons of INOX sheets
    - fixed between aluminium sheets and steel elements by 52.409 Drilling screws

Start and end of our project: 04.2016 - 11.2017

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