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Melinda Golden Theatre, Segno di Predaia, Italy


The Melinda Consortium, 16 producers' cooperatives of the famous D.O.P. Val di Non, in Trentino, acquired the underground galleries of the Rio Maggiore mine in Mollaro. The mine was used until recently by the Tassullo Materiali company to extract the dolomite rocks used for the production of lime-based building materials.

In the galleries, Melinda has created the first, and only, refrigeration plant for fruit in a hypogeal environment and in controlled atmosphere conditions. This natural refrigerator respects the environment and keeps the quality of the apples intact.

The galleries of Rio Maggiore are part of a tourist trail linked to MondoMelinda (i.e. the visitor center and point of sale located at the storage and packaging plant in Mollaro). While waiting for the hypogeal cells to be open to the public, Melinda has created an immersive multimedia space that - through the use of digital technologies and virtual reality - reveals to the public the fascinating underground world. The space, a "chamber of wonders", is contained within a pavilion that is part of the MondoMelinda visitor centre.

When the hypogeum cells are open to the public, the pavilion will continue to function as an information and promotional space, broadening its gaze to the entire world of apple production in the Val di Non.

A room of wonders, technological

The pavilion is located in the garden, in front of MondoMelinda, where there are already some installations for welcoming visitors: a gazebo with tables for tastings and a small amphitheatre with wooden steps. The relatively small volume of the structure facilitates its insertion in the context of the green area. The entrance faces the garden, while on the opposite side, the Trento-Malé Railway and the important traffic route of the SP 43 of the Val di Non, which give the building considerable visibility.

The pavilion is a real "chamber of wonders", inside which the visitor is accompanied on the discovery of the underground world of hypogeal cells used for the preservation of apples. Here the respect for the environment, generated by the deep roots of the apple producers in the area, is combined with innovation: through the use of latest generation digital technologies and the use of 3D and 4D representations projected onto the walls of the structure. The visitor is immersed from the sensorial and emotional point of view in an amazing virtual scenario lasting about 10 minutes.

The dimensions of the pavilion were determined by the space required for the multimedia technologies, an internal volume corresponding to a cube of 4.60m on each side.

The outer shell of the "chamber of wonders" frees itself from a strictly cubic shape to approach that of an apple, obtained through an abstraction procedure, avoiding obvious literal imitations. The inclined walls and the irregular prism conformation ideally evoke the shape of the apple, while the leaves, with the function of vane, on the top of the roof unequivocally lead back to the universally known image of the fruit.

The seamed sheet that covers the structure - the apple peel - is composed of an alloy of copper, aluminium and zinc, that gives a delicate golden colour to the structure, which will soon assume the characteristic nuances of gold, an analogy with the apple ‘Golden’ for which the Val di Non is universally known: hence the name of the Golden Theatre assigned to the pavilion. The wall facing the street is the only one not covered in sheet metal, replaced by large-format graphics as a sign-landmark.

An achievement under the banner of sustainability

The multimedia installations required perfect soundproofing of the environment with respect to possible external interference, in addition to the now essential requirements for sustainability and energy saving. The structure is made of multilayer XLam wood panels, with insulated covering and walls with wood fibre panels and a ventilated cavity. The internal walls are covered in plasterboard with high acoustic performance, with a grid-shaped metal false ceiling. The floor is in cloudy concrete with anti-slip and stain-resistant treatment.

A short ramp, with an 8% slope, leads to the entrance, whose floor is slightly raised from the surrounding land. A natural ventilation system normally ensures air exchange and internal ventilation, while in the summer and winter peak periods the temperature is regulated by an electric air conditioner located outside the structure.

The pavilion can be visited by the public free-of-charge during the opening hours of MondoMelinda.



Committente: Consorzio Melinda SCA – Cles (Tn)

Progetto: Art&Craft studio di architettura – arch. Daniele Bertolini, arch. Catia Meneghini – Pellizzano (Tn)

Installazioni multimediali: Drawlight srl – Noventa Padovana (Pd)

Strutture: Ing. Francesco Azzali – Trento (Tn)

Management: Nitida Immagine srl – Cles (Tn)

Opere edili: Impresa Edile Alessio Chini – Predaia (Tn)

Strutture in legno: STP costruzioni in legno - Predaia (Tn)

Lattoneria: Lamtex srl – Cles (Tn)

Impianti elettrici: Elettrica srl - Predaia (Tn)



Consorzio Melinda SCA
Completion date: 
Zip code: 
Segno di Predaia (TN)
Via della Cooperazione 21


Facades/Part seams
Type of building: 
Industrial and agricultural
Copper used: 
Golden alloy


Name, office: 
Art&Craft studio di architettura
Address & description: 
architetto Daniele Bertolini, architetto Catia Meneghini, via Nazionale 58, 38020 Pellizzano (TN)

Copper contractors

Lamtex srl – Cles (Tn)

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