Padova Congress, extraordinary opening on the occasion of the FAI Days of Spring

Mar 21, 2023

On the occasion of the FAI – Fondo Ambiente Italiano (the National Trust for Italy) Days of Spring – Saturday, March 25 and Sunday, March 26, 2023 – Padova Congress will open its doors to the public for the first time: a unique opportunity to get a closer look at the architectural jewel designed by Kengo Kuma and inaugurated a year ago. In fact, the new congress center has been chosen by FAI and will be one of seven places open and visitable in the Padua area.

The new convention center is the latest piece of a history, that of the Fiera Campionaria, which was born in Padua more than 100 years ago. During the weekend, visitors, guided by volunteers from the FAI youth delegation, will have the opportunity to learn about the features of the structure, but also to retrace some of the history of Italy’s oldest Fair. The visits-scheduled Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.-are open and everyone and no reservations are required; a minimum contribution of 3 euros is suggested to support the Foundation’s mission.

“With the Nuvola of Rome,” explains Nicola Rossi, president of Padova Hall, “Padova Congress is the only Italian convention center designed by an archistar. In addition to being a place of business, it is truly an extraordinary architectural masterpiece, and I hope that many will seize the opportunity offered this weekend.”

The facility is designed as a multifunctional and flexible container, capable of accommodating up to 3,334 people. The project represents a concrete example of layered architecture, combining the reference to Japanese architecture with the technique of “spatial layering” (which consists of overlapping elements with different levels of permeability) with the recovery of the Paduan tradition. In fact, the design harks back to the city with its characteristic porticoes: just as Padua’s porticos mediate between the street and dwellings or stores, so the large façade partitions introduce public circulation inside the building and extend it in depth. The portal by Luigi Strazzabosco and Hamleto Sartori, which entered the Palace of Nations, remains as the gateway to the new Convention Center. The portal tiles have been preserved and relocated to the center of the podium located at the top of the entrance steps. Made of expanded steel plate, it is 20 meters high and 60 meters long.

Within such a complex and cutting-edge project, space has also been given to significant interventions in terms of sustainability and respect for the environment: in particular, the installation of a 100 kW photovoltaic system and the presence of a trigeneration plant with emunition from wells, serving the underfloor air conditioning system and for the production of electricity.

For more info on the FAI days and to learn about other places that are open and can be visited: