located within the municipality of bologna, in italy, architecture studio superspatial has designed an office and archive building for revenue agency ‘agenzia delle entrate’. the project presents itself as a combination of three public places, that preserve the rest of the area as a natural urban forest, that the nature has created in the last decades.

ex caserma perotti _ competition 2

all images courtesy of superspatial



in 1288, an act from the municipality of bologna established that all new homes had to be built with a ‘portico’ – porch area, guaranteeing its public use. more than half a century earlier, in the early 1200s, it had been decided to create a large open space in the urban fabric, free of buildings, to be used for the needs of meeting, discussion or commercial exchange. ‘this void in the historic center would become piazza maggiore, the first square in italy after the fall of the roman empire’ superspatial shares.

ex caserma perotti _ competition 9



these two historical events show the profound connection in bologna between the built environment and the public space, as well as between commerce and culture. ‘perhaps here, more than anywhere else, architecture is literally a backdrop that defines public space’ the architects explain ‘it is the true essence of the city that is sculpted by the marginal presence of private buildings’.

ex caserma perotti _ competition 5



with this backround in mind, it makes sense why the project has been formed as three interlinked public spaces within the city of bologna. the first space houses the headquarters of the agenzia, consisting of offices and archives at the service of the community. the second one is a square among the trees, a playground open to the neighborhood different from the surrounding public spaces. 

ex caserma perotti _ competition 8



this area allows visitors to get away from traffic and immerse themselves in nature. it is a a social space that is also reserved and protected at the same time. a place that is not just a roof, but that has the scale of a public space, with a dimension very close to that of piazza maggiore.

ex caserma perotti _ competition 7



the third place is a covered square, which takes up the idea of the bolognese portico as an accessible, informal space sheltered from the elements. a porch that characterizes the entire ground floor that quickly transforms according to needs. in few hours from parking it becomes theater, from market to party space.

ex caserma perotti _ competition 6

ex caserma perotti _ competition 1

ex caserma perotti _ competition 4

ex caserma perotti _ competition 3



project info:


name: ex-caserma perotti
architecture office: superspatial
project team: lorenzo benzoni, martina buzzo, giovanni cesaretti, filippo gaspari, andrea govi, antonio la marca
collaborators: mario nanni, viabizzuno (lighting project), prof. m.m. achenza, unica (rammed earth construction expert), mpartner (civil engineer), ceas (structural engineer), technion (MEP)



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: myrto katsikopoulou | designboom