Following major conservation work and reconstruction, the Autogrill at Villoresi Ovest reopened its doors. Located on the A8 motorway a few kilometres from Milan, this authentic icon of Italian architecture, which was built in 1958 and designed by Angelo Bianchetti, is a symbol of the country’s economic and industrial recovery.
The new Villoresi Ovest was completed with the utmost respect for the building’s original design, while the subtle aesthetic reinterpretation made use of materials more in line with modern construction standards.
Autogrill’s main aim was to make Villoresi Ovest a modern-day icon, emphasizing the Group’s links to tradition yet showcasing the best of its expertise in terms of service, innovation and sustainability.
1958: THE NEW CONCEPT
To relaunch this strategic venue, which has great historical significance for the brand, Autogrill created the new “1958” concept, in tribute to the restaurant’s original opening date. “1958” at Villoresi Ovest brings together the very best of the food services currently available on the freeway network in terms of quality service and variety of choice.
The restaurant’s contemporary, stylish design showcases the best of Autogrill: a snack bar with a selection of freshly prepared croissants and classic sandwiches reinterpreted in premium versions, dishes created from recipes by leading chefs such as Andrea Ribaldone. Furthermore, a corner steak house exclusively for all things grilled, an assortment of pizzas due to the collaboration with Renato Bosco, and finest Sal De Riso desserts, a taste of the Amalfi coast.
THE ARCHITECTURE: PAST AND FUTURE
The project by architects practice Andrea Langhi Design respected the building's original proportions and dimensions, while paying tribute to the classic design with its gracefully curved lines and warm colours.
Outside, the immense tripod arch, the building’s historic iconic feature was retained. Originally designed to be visible from a distance, LED lights have been installed in the tripod to increase its visibility. The central, truncated cone-shape building underlying the tripod has been rebuilt using modern, energy-efficient materials.
Materials used for the interior are inspired by traditional Italian design, and include walnut, porcelain tiles and brass. A classic design combined with innovative materials and facilities, environmentally-friendly yet with modern, technological communication systems.
In terms of innovative materials, FIANDRE Architectural Surfaces porcelain stoneware tiles and ACTIVE SURFACESTM were selected, the latter with certified antimicrobial and anti-pollution properties active 24 hours a day due to the combination of titanium dioxide and silver. ACTIVE ceramics protection has been installed on over 1,500 square metres of floor area, including Pietra Grey ACTIVE 120 x 60cm format selected for general flooring and 60 x 60cm format for staircases and restroom floors. Bathroom tiling is enhanced by the skilful use of a contrasting light-dark effect, made possible by the combination of Pietra Grey ACTIVE and Calacatta Statuario ACTIVE. ACTIVE SURFACESTM antibacterial and antiviral action is essential in restrooms, which are intensively used each and every day, and indicates the care and attention Autogrill Group has placed on creating healthier and safer environments for its customers. Their hospitality is also evident in the attention to design, offering visitors a pleasant as well as safe break. The most exquisite ceramic surfaces, such as Fiandre’s large format Atlantic Grey Maximum, Sahara Noir Maximum and Pietra Grey Maximum have been used to tile the bar counter, partitions and even to decorate areas using Iris Ceramica Group’s DYS Design Your Slabs technology which enables personalized images to be reproduced on ceramic tiles while maintaining the effectiveness of ACTIVE SURFACESTM.
Autogrill wanted to create a distinct connection between tradition and innovation, designing a building, which features state-of-the-art construction and systems technology.
The building is equipped with high performance glazing in terms of thermal insulation, an air conditioning system comprising highly efficient heat pumps, which recover condensation heat, and hot water supplied to washers reduces the use of electric heaters by 50%. A rainwater harvesting system is used for flushing customer and employee toilets.
Air handling units take advantage of natural cooling to provide adequate ventilation of rooms determined by ideal outdoor conditions, effectively reducing the amount of air conditioning required. Heat exchangers also recover heat in winter and cool air in summer for air exchange.
Again, to reduce energy consumption, the building is equipped with a BMS (Building Management System) to ensure optimum indoor comfort while not wasting electricity. A 20kW photovoltaic system also provides some of the energy required for services in the building. 100% LED technology is used for both interior and exterior lighting.
The majority of equipment, such as coffee machines, ovens, dishwashers, washers, sandwich grills and refrigerators are connected to a web portal, from which their use can be monitored.
Autogrill Group is the world leader in catering services for travellers. Present in 31 countries over 4 continents, it operates approximately 1,000 locations (including 147 airports) and manages 4,000 outlets. Autogrill has over 60,000 employees and serves 1 billion travellers every year. In 2019, Autogrill Group reported revenues of approximately 5 billion Euros.