Food and Wellness: A Proposal for the F.I.CO® Wellness Club in Bologna by Barberio Colella ARC

Italian firm Barberio Colella ARC has proposed its own architectural vision to enhance F.I.CO®, a place intended to showcase the excellence of Italian food and wine. F.I.CO® is to be located in Bologna, a city steeped in food culture and well connected to other parts of Italy and the world.

Envisioned by the Agri-Food center of Bologna (C.A.A.B.®), The proposed structure will cover about 80, 000 sq m and host swimming pools, restaurants, orchards, beehives, teaching farms and shopping centres. It is intended to be an international tourist attraction, primarily for culinary and fitness enthusiasts, which will in turn spur on important territorial redevelopment to further enhance the experience for the aforementioned users. The F.I.CO®.Wellness Club aims to offer a wellness area for those classy visitors willing to discover both nutrition and body care and this is where the Italian Architects come in.

1000 esterno 1

Their proposal is entrenched in two main themes – water and wood. The exterior is inspired by a drop of dew on a leaf, with its shape similar to the parabola generated by a water jet, while the pattern of its translucent facade is inspired by the aggregation of plant cells. The interior is characterised by a hue of wood similar to the bricks prominently found in Bologna. Also the balcony system of the lateral pavilions is inspired by the famous “porticati” of the city.

Concept Piante Axo Prospetti_sezione

sezione grande

The structure is made of Curved plywood cells based on a parametric design. They are joined together thanks a system of nuts and bolts. A reflective film can keep out as much as 83% of the sun’s heat, dramatically lowering air conditioning costs. In the winter, the same film helps retain interior heat, reducing heating costs. In addition, the internal court is used to improve the passive ventilation in the winter and during the summer.

alto bagno turco


The common area (aqua zone) is the core of the project and it is conceived to be a fluid space, with pools with different sizes, with a big one and three more intimate: two on the ground floor and one above. The club also has a fitness center, a day spa of 600 square meters (with turkish bath, sauna, solarium, massage area, bath tubs and multi-sensory showers), four spa suites from 50 square meters, a meditation area, a restaurant and a coffee shop

Proposal Details

  • Photo credits: © Barberio Colella ARC, 2015
  • Project name: Food & Wellness Club
  • Location: Bologna, Italy
  • Firm: Barberio Colella ARC
  • Team: Maurizio Barberio, Micaela Colella
  • Email: /

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