The former Hotel Union, historic building almost completely destroyed by fire in 2009, today is related as an isolated building, with a new and almost monumental character, to the urban development created by the new square on Boulevard Madre Teresa. In its unified recovery project for adapting it to the new Benetton commercial spaces two souls co-exist.
One is the restoration of its main façades and its protected traditional gables, the other is the design of the new fronts on the square through a measured extension and a new stone façade faced with Vratza limestone, composed as a large model of an architectural order that is doubled by being mirrored in a water court.
The extension completes and unites the existing volumes. Its independence is emphasized by glazed clefts that open up to reveal the retail spaces and the core of the new escalators. These tall windows rise to the building’s full height, forming slits of light that dialogue in the roof with a new crowning volume, also made of glass, with soft, sinuous lines, a sort of curvilinear lantern that scenically completes the elevation on the square while remaining within the outline of the roof laid with zinc sheets.
With the completion of the project there are no longer a principal front and a residual rear, but there is a complex architectural organism which can be traversed from end to end and is well suited to the new order of open spaces around it. It also bears witness to the quality of the brand.