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Arena of Verona: Among the Best – FLY IN!

81 enterprises, designers and planners from around the world trying to design a cover for the Arena of Verona. FLY IN competes – great among the greatest.

If it wasn’t Italy, if it wasn’t Verona, if it wasn’t the Arena, then the best would be enough. But because it was precisely for the coverage of the Arena of Verona that we were talking about, more than the best was needed.  In March, 2016, the city of Verona launched a competition for ideas to cover the Roman Amphitheater “Arena di Verona”. On January 31, 2017, the competition ended with the publication of the ranking of those who had been asked to contribute ideas to the elite of the intelligence world.  The most prestigious designers and visionaries of the architectural and engineering worlds offered the best of their abilities for a project that deserved special attention.  We’re talking about covering a World Heritage monument which has overseen the city of Verona for 2000 years!

From among the 81 proposals presented, FLY IN of Bene Vagienna, Cuneo, was ranked second overall and won the second prize presented to the group of companies which also included architect Vincenzo Latina (who in addition to ideas offered his prestigious name to the group), Stefano Saffirio of the engineering firm Curti & Saffirio, and Andrea Ruggeri of the architectural firm Maffioli & Ruggeri.

The inclusion of Mauro Oggero’s company, which together with architect Latina organized and coordinated the elite group, is not surprising. FLY IN has all of the qualifications needed to participate in international competitions where unique solutions are required that can replicate the kind of creative and technological performance only provided by a “three-dimensional” vision of the problem.  In the FLY IN portfolio, there are numerous accomplishments that meet these requirements: from the Mobile Hangar for the Solar Impulse ultralight plane to the inflatable logo “Pride Italy” for the Milan Expo to the participation of FLY IN in the design phase of the preparations for the opening ceremony of the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

The solution of FLY IN for the Arena di Verona was based on a cover of inflatable segments that ring the original walls and stretch to the center of the vault guided by a cable system. The segments are positioned like the segments of an orange and as they inflate they form a roof that protects the stage and stands from any weather event – water, snow and wind included.

The system designed and awarded, according to the summary of the judging committee, is “consistent with the Arena facilities and defines an appropriate space respecting its form….The profile of the roofing system is visible from the outside, but it interacts in a discreet and complimentary way with the image and profile of the Arena.”  The cover can be set up and removed in 5 to 6 hours, completely automatically.

The project has great environmental value. The energy required for inflation, in fact, is produced from the surfaces of the material through a solar powered system and the air used for the inflation is returned to the environment in the same state in which it was removed.

To be among the first is a satisfaction that is unmatched, responded Mauro Oggero to the question “Doesn’t it burn to have arrived in second place?” Keep in mind that the best designers from around the world were brought together. There were about thirty proposals submitted from abroad and many of those from studios with resumes far longer than ours. Having been selected among the top three and then being on the podium was a joy that overshadowed the work involved.

With the publication of the competition standings comes the close of an important chapter in the history of the Arena di Verona. Probably soon the competition for the construction will open, but first there will be the awards ceremony.  See you soon.

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