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The Film Archive and Preservation Center – Inspired from the Past, Created for the Future
The Film Archive and Preservation Center, thought by David Packard, sits on a 64.5 acre site in Santa Clarita, California. It provides the highest standards of preservation and storage for one of the most significant collections of film and television moving images in the world.
The project includes a film preservation laboratory, a digital moving image and audio preservation laboratory, film video and a paper storage archive central plant. Staff offices are adjoining the existing underground nitrate film storage vaults.
The building is comprised of two distinct areas, the Collection Storage and the Stoa, which is a two story building with colonnades, named by the ancient Greeks, from which he was inspired.The second, an L-shaped structure housing the preservation labs, work rooms, preservationists’ and administrative offices. The interior architecture recalls motifs from the Florentine monastery of San Marco and is designed to inspire the preservationist’s work. The palette of materials is Mediterranean with Terracotta roof tiles, light-colored Italian limestone columns and walls, Terracotta floors, plaster walls. The parking is located beneath an olive orchard.
CoorItalia’s two divisions played a pivotal role in achieving both the client’s and the architect’s design goals for the project, starting from the floor all the way up to the roof. The Architectural Elements Department supplied all the Terracotta flooring and custom manufactured the roof tiles to BAR’s and PHI’s historically accurate specifications.
Earl Wilson, Principal at BAR requested that the Terracotta floor was to be inspired from the antique floor of the San Marco Cloister in Florence. Since 55,000 square feet needed to be manufactured we needed to have the production capacity to do so, respecting a dead line. Alessio De Francesca, owner of CoorItalia, therefore selected a specific kiln that could take on such a production, since they were already working on producing handmade Terracotta floors for the newly restored galleries at the Uffizi.
This manufacturer, located in the Impruneta Region, outside Florence, was able to fulfill the Team’s desire to have a unique handmade tile in the traditional red clay of Florence. Morley Builders project manager Jaime Garcia, also benefited from having onsite an Italian factory installer, to guide the local crew on how to achieve tight tolerances using the hand made pavers on an herring bone layout.
For the Roof BAR Architects and David Packard himself went through a detailed research into the origin of Ancient Greek Terracotta roof tiles layout and shape. This included not just the triangular shaped cap and roman pan, both 24″ long, but the ridge cap, ridge pan and the Antefix.
For this element, CoorItalia selected a Terracotta factory, located in the Veneto Region, that could provide not just the necessary technical skills of its R&D department to precisely recreate the original shapes and provide accuracy for a state of the art result, but also the manufacturing capacity to produce over 47,000 pieces. Several rounds of shop drawings, mock up, clay color tests and installation layout, were produced both in Italy and in the USA.
The Windows & Doors Department worked with both Architects and Builders supplying custom designed Sapelli Mahogany windows and doors with a bronze clad that would not only meet the aesthetic goal, but also the very important, technical performance goals.
Architects: BAR Architects
Contractor: Morley Builders