Architects: Studio Ricatti – Pierpaolo Ricatti
Location: Breganze, Italy
Collaborators: Marco Chilese (Project Manager), Laura Canazza, Giulia Gallo, Anna Griggio, Paolo Omodei Salè, Diego Rossi, Marco Saterini
Engineering: Jacobs Italia SpA
Project area: 87,000 sqm
Photographs: Daniele Domenicali, Aerodata (aerial views)
The new Diesel Headquarters was built on the grounds of a former industrial site, thereby renovating a 90,000 square-meter plot of land that had been allocated to a local engineering industrial facility. The complex essentially comprises five main building units: corporate offices, warehouse/museum facilities, an auditorium, a nursery, and a central utilities operation/monitoring and security services facility.
The general layout of the entire building complex was influenced by the shape and size of the grounds, the urban and construction official regulatory requirements, as well as input data. The road that extends southwards from the main provincial road that runs along the east perimeter of the property dictated its orientation on the site. Vehicle and pedestrian entrances are located along this axis. The central entrance delineates a north-south directional corridor that divides the two main corporate organizational areas: the west side includes the warehouses and loading bay areas; the east side houses corporate offices, although the second and third floor levels partially extend above the warehouse facilities with two suspension bridges on the north and south ends.
The new headquarters not only successfully reflects functional requirements, but also responds to important environmental considerations, which include precise, rural spatial regulations concerning its surroundings as well as new site-specific provisions and stipulations: warehouses, detached houses, vegetable patches, gardens and infrastructure facilities. The territorial land use design reflects features of both the city and the countryside, two worlds that seemingly contradict, yet attract each other at the same time. This notion motivated the design team to find solutions that expressed the specific nature of a landscape society which, in the case of this project, translated into emphasizing a sense of well-being and creating optimum living/working conditions. The environmental conditions were, therefore, deliberately confronted and incorporated, and the project emphasizes its “urban nature” through a complex articulation of autonomous spaces that are nevertheless interrelated.
The project takes advantage of the existing morphological features. This approach permitted maximum gains in vertical elevation that comply with the maximum uniform heights allowed by existing urban parameters and codes, and the development of varied nuances in the landscape design of exterior areas: interior courtyards that function as community areas, creative meeting points and relaxation areas; defined, ‘soft’ thresholds between indoors and outdoors that ensure panoramic views for employees but restrict the inward view from outside; sports fields and recreational facilities integrated into the layout; a strong emphasis on plant variety that creates specific sensations in different areas; and hanging gardens that offer contemplative views and ecologically sensitive comfort to the buildings.
The volumes are simple, box-like modules that incorporate the “maximum program requirements with a minimum of architecture”.