ETNAPOLIS Shopping Center

  • Catania

  • 2006

  • Contractor Impresa Maltauro Spa, Vicenza

  • Photos: Copyright © Moreno Maggi Giuseppe Barbagiovanni

The prestigious shopping centre of ETNAPOLIS (one of the biggest in Italy and Europe) is located in Belpasso, in the province of Catania.
The mall is surrounded by the picturesque scenery of the Sicilian Nature with the Etna volcano in the background, and it covers a total surface of 140.000 m2, having a length of about 1 km.
This centre is also an entertainment attraction with its amusement areas and a series of buildings dedicated to specialised trading.
With the laying of the foundation stone in October 2003, the project of Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas now consists of 3 main buildings with 120 shops, restaurants, wellness and fitness centre, Warner Village Multiscreen Cinema, in addition to 17.000 m2 of hypermarket.
The first two buildings consist of 4 storeys, ground floor and first floor host the shopping gallery, the other two levels (underground and roof area) are reserved to parking facilities.
The perimeter cladding consist of a blue double skin façade, customised with the large fritted Logo “ETNAPOLIS”. In the evening this logo is illuminated and the reflection created by the surrounding stretches of water provides an extraordinary spectacular effect.
The façades become giant scenic equipment with the shining luminous signs of the centre, thus showing a strong relationship between architecture and communication.

The third building is dedicated to 8 food halls and a multiscreen cinema. The cladding consists of structural silicone curtain walling with large glazing sizes up to 5.5 m high.

The same special attention dedicated to the design of the night illumination with its refined plays of light, has been paid to the internal lighting; the natural light entering through the wide roof-light glazing creates a pleasant and harmonious atmosphere inside the mall.


  • Double skin curtain walling

  • Featuring elements

  • Double skin façades with screen-printed glass

  • “Visia” structural silicone curtain walling

  • Roof-light glazing, balustrades

The technology

Double skin façade with screen-printed glass 20.000 m2 of fully glazed double skin façades, with the fritting of the Logo “ETNAPOLIS” white on blue background: this is the cladding of the first 2 buildings along the highway 121 and it becomes the most prominent feature element of this centre.
Designed in the classic “unitised” configuration, these façades are composed of an aluminium frame to which the first blue fritted glass skin decorated with white letters is attached by structural silicone.
The second skin is composed of a glass pane also fritted with the same letters, set back at a distance of 150 mm, is then retained onto the frame by means of aluminium clamps.
The double fritting carried out on both the internal and external skin gives the Logo a depth of image brought out in the evening by special lighting placed in the cavity between the two skins.
The special configuration of the double skin façade has allowed us the choice of a unitised system that can be completely manufactured and pre-assembled in our factory, thus providing a higher quality and precision level compared to a stick c.w. system, which is almost completely processed on site.
This kind of configuration allows the opening of each external window by means of a fast unlocking system which provides access between the two skins for regular cleaning operations.

Structural curtain walling
The third building, which hosts the restaurant halls and the Multiscreen Cinema foyer, is clad with Visia® curtain walling system, fitted with large size selective glass composed of 1.6-metre (width) by 5.5-metres (height) glass panels. This system guarantees excellent sealing, thermal insulation, heating and sound-insulating ratings.

Roof-lights and Balustrades A good natural lighting of the gallery is achieved by a clever positioning of the roof-light glazing.
The light that spreads on both the levels of the shopping gallery is intercepted and reflected from the opalescent glazed balustrades.
These balustrades have been bespoke designed with stainless steel mullions where the glazing is fixed by means of a bolted system. The balustrade continues below the finished floor level to form a feature covering the slab underneath.


Massimiliano Fuksas

Massimiliano Fuksas architetto, is a firm that has to its credit, internationally acclaimed interior design, product design, and architectural projects. Native of Lithuania, Massimiliano Fuksas was born in Rome in 1944, where he graduated in Architecture at "La Sapienza University" in 1969. In 1967, 1989 and 1993 he established practices in Rome, Paris and Vienna respectively and since 2002 he opened a new studio in Frankfurt. From 1998 to 2000 he was Director of the VII Biennale Internazionale di Architettura di Venezia "Less Aesthetics, More Ethics".