There are volcanoes along the interstate
von | Oct 23, 2014

Embedded between poppy fields and asphalt in Lainate, Italy, a striking roof almost 28 meters high interrupts the landscape. What looks from a distance like a small volcano at closer inspection turns out to be the “Villoresi Est” interstate service station. The eye-catching building on the E45 interstate was designed by the architects at Total Tool for Autogrill. Guests come here to “refuel”. But not only hunger can be stilled in the restaurant, travelers can also relax here. And to help them do so, the furniture by Pedrali creates a warm, inviting ambience. Sitting on comfortable lounge chairs guests can let their gaze roam over the Parco delle Groane, a park planted with poplars, birches and forsythia.

The body of the service station represents an architectural link between the traffic on the interstate and the adjoining landscape. Architect Giulio Ceppi designed an amorphous building complex with a green roof, which fits almost seamlessly into the rural surroundings. EPS was employed for the impressive support structure, a recyclable laminated timber from sustainable forestry. In the restaurant, in other words, the interior of the “volcano”, the complex wooden structure is visible for visitors. Moreover, the warm color of the wood corresponds perfectly with the furniture by Pedrali, which lends the room an inviting, friendly and bright atmosphere.

Perfection down to the smallest detail – this was a demand the architect also made of the interior furnishings. The chairs, bar stools and tables by Italian manufacturer Pedrali are characterized by a formally reduced and elegant design. In addition, the various furniture items are connected with one another in an extremely precise manner. Chairs of bleached and stained oak from the FRIDA series are arranged in the guest room with armchairs and bar stools from the YOUNG collection. Thanks to extremely thin shells of plywood the sturdy seating appears light. The same holds true of the tables from the INOX ELLITTICO series with their delicate table tops. Moreover, the GLISS LOUNGE armchairs in bright red are extremely comfortable thanks to their lavish upholstery, and set colorful accents. Bright red also characterizes the service station at night: When it’s dark the roof is illuminated so that even fast drivers cannot miss it.

The wooden support structure is revealed inside the service area. Photo © Federico Brunetti
The furniture items by Pedrali make for a bright, friendly ambience. Photo © Federico Brunetti
The FRIDA chairs of bleached oak were awarded the XXII Compasso d’Oro ADI. Photo © Pedrali
GLISS 340/3 – a cozy chair with a comfortable upholstery that can also be removed. Photo © Pedrali
Visible from afar: The roof of Autogrill’s Villoresi Est interstate service station. Photo © Federico Brunetti
EPS was used for the roof construction: The laminated timber is recyclable and PEFC-certified.
Photo © Federico Brunetti
You can really make yourself comfortable on the GLISS LOUNGE chairs. Photo © Federico Brunetti
The INOX ELLITTICO table with solid laminate top and a brushed stainless steel base. Photo © Pedrali
Though the YOUNG 425 chair come across as especially light it is both sturdy and functional.
Photo © Pedrali

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