CHEF EXPRESS HAS INAUGURATED THE NEW 'BRIDGE' SERVICE AREA OF NOVARA, A SYMBOL OF ITALIAN MOTORWAY CATERING
An eco-sustainable building regeneration with a project designed by the Studio of Architecture Iosa Ghini Associates
The catering offer, the supermarket and the services dedicated to travelers have been fully renovated, creating an innovative customer experience at the point of sale
Novara - Chef Express, the company that manages all the catering activities of the Cremonini Group, has completed the renovation of the large motorway bridge service area of Novara Nord and Sud (A4 Milan-Turin), a historic symbol of motorway catering in Italy. In Novara, indeed, the confectionary entrepreneur Mario Pavesi opened in 1947, exactly seventy years ago, the first service area on Italian motorways.
Features of the new area, designed in respect of the environment
The Novara 'bridge' was inaugurated in 1962, designed by Arch. Angelo Bianchetti, in the same place as the first motorway catering facility opened in Italy in 1947: originally belonged to the chain launched by confectioner entrepreneur Mario Pavesi, a pioneer of motorway catering, who made, between 1959 and 1971, 12 of the 14 existing bridges on the Italian motorway network. These structures have accompanied the great development of civil motorization during the economic boom years and have entered into the collective imagination thanks also to the cinema, which has used them as sets for countless films.
The service area of Novara has a total surface area of 4,620 square metres, of which 1,370 sqm dedicated to the commercial area, and 320 sqm to the supermarket. More than 115 people are employed. Every year more than 16 million vehicles pass through in both directions.
The architectural project was undertaken by Iosa Ghini Associati, with a particular attention towards issues of environmental sustainability. The building has been completely regenerated and isolated with an outside coating of over 1000 sqm of laminated white spruce wood, to minimize its air conditioning systems and avoid waste. Respect to the carbon print, wood, which is the environmentally-friendly material par excellence, also carries the virtuous function of a CO2 absorber that doesn't go into the atmosphere. Finally, the lining also becomes the 'visible' element of the project's philosophy, giving an unmistakable impression to the refurbished area.
The energy saving is complemented by the installation of devices to limit the use of electricity and a photovoltaic system, from the use of lighting with new LED technology, and from the heating and air conditioning units with a new high efficiency system.
All this has resulted in savings of more than 500,000 kWh equivalent, equal to approx. 210 tonnes of CO2 per year not released into the atmosphere. In addition, all electricity purchased is 100% certified by renewable sources.
Cristian Biasoni, CEO of Chef Express, explained, 'Today, there is a need to rethink the relationship with the traveler, adjusting supply to current demand. The architectural project for the Novara area, designed by the Studio Iosa Ghini Associati, has this aim and has been studied for a long time so as to match the history of this area and its future by introducing an innovative customer experience system for highway catering. The goal was to create an environment not only welcoming but also engaging, a holistic system that encompasses the architectural layout, store signs, digital communication, the organization of the food offer, the supermarket and the through routes: all coordinated with an experiential function, with integrated digital instruments that characterize all the service area'.