Visitors to the new €117 million Rimini Convention Centre on the Adriatic Coast will find themselves walking on spectacular American black cherry flooring. Designed by German architects GMP Studio, the centre will be one of the largest and eco-sustainable buildings in Italy. Spread over 38,000sq m, it will have two exhibition and conference areas that can seat 9,300 across several different events simultaneously. Its focal point is an imposing ‘oyster-shell’ amphitheatre but the real organic beauty of the Centre is to be found inside with the 7,500sq m of clean, contemporary American black cherry flooring.
“The architects were looking for a product that was easy to source but still had unique characteristics,” says Maurizio Bernardi, of Adria Legno Service (San Clemente/Rimini), the company that installed the floors. “We stepped in with the idea of obtaining a product that was ‘pseudo-cheap’ but of great visual impact. The challenge was to transfer to the finished flooring both the warm colors of the wood grain and the irregular nuances of American black cherry. The resulting floor is ‘cheap and chic’.
“Within the ‘oyster-shell’ amphitheater, we also had to resolve big problems of differences in height between the prefabricated structural elements of the shell and the finished floor. We essentially created a cabinet with a surface of over 2,000sq m. And here the American black cherry best expresses itself – for me it represents the most significant overall architectural element.”
The building includes a raft of sustainable building measures including a rainwater harvesting system, energy efficient condensation boilers, lighting controls and widespread use of eco-building materials. The redevelopment of the area also saw the creation of a ‘green spoke’ pedestrian and bicycle route, from the Convention Centre to the historical centre of Rimini and the marina.
For more information on American hardwood species and case studies, visit www.americanhardwood.org.