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Due to a changing economy, the owners of the Focchi factory building decided to retain the historic structure and adapt it to a new use more suitable to the current marketplace. Ambasz was given the commission to enlarge the facility and transform it into a new shopping center with a compelling and inviting image. Ambasz partially covered the roof of the structure with a grid of mesh covered in planted ivy, helping to naturally cool the interior while enriching the appearance of the raw concrete. Portions of the roof vaults are left uncovered to establish a clear distinction between the decorative and structural portions of the building while visually uniting the old and new sections. Along the sides of the building, the ivy covered mesh cantilevers past the structure, echoing the barrel vaults, to create translucent verandas reaching the building. Like a symbolic cornice, this overhanging mesh provides shade as well as an atmosphere of welcoming arrival to patrons. Six ribs of the central vault were removed to create an internal garden courtyard. Surrounded by an open arcade that links the various shops and cafés, this courtyard provides sunlight and fresh air to the interior.


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