New Chiesi Research Centre
Location: Parma (PR) - Italy
Client: Chiesi Farmaceutici Spa
Project dates: 2005-2009
Construction dates: 2009-2011
Urban planning project: Emilio Faroldi Associati
Preliminary project: Jacobs Engeneering Group Inc.
Architectural project and artistic direction: Emliio Faroldi Associati; designers: Emilio Faroldi, Maria Pilar Vettori, Dario Cea, Pietro Chierici, Francesca Cipullo, Roberto Grassi, Francesca Pesci, Laura Piazza, Andrea Roscini
Engineering project and supervision of work: Jacobs Italia SpA
Project manager and supervisor of work: Ing. Michele Cappellini
Chiesi project manager: Ing. Francesco Longanesi
Written by Emilio Faroldi Associati
In view of the profound changes that have affected the places and ways in which we work and conduct research following the transition from mass production to streamlined production, the dissemination of new technologies, the new flexibility of work and the increasingly fluid nature of society and markets, corporate architecture has taken on an essential strategic role in the configuration of our cities and the transformation of our land.
The new Chiesi Research Centre fits into this line of reasoning. The project is based on processes of structural expansion, rationalisation of organisation and technical innovation leading research in design towards new levels of performance and service, achieving a balance between the rapidity of change and long-term needs.
The location of the site, of great strategic value for its proximity to key infrastructures (airport, motorway, high speed railway line), required consideration of the architectural and urban character of an important access route to the city of Parma, as a significant element of the urban landscape and its ability to compete at the territorial level. The project therefore aims to establish dialogue with a landscape strongly marked by its infrastructures, through an "urban" layout modelled on the concept of the "corporate town" divided into open spaces and built elements with different functional and morphological characters.
The concept of functional integration introduced by overcoming Ford's productive logic translates into a layout based on the compositional concepts of aggregation and connection and, at the same time, rotation or translation aimed at achieving differentiation by area in the arrangement of spaces and the connections between them.
The functional organisation of the buildings translates not only into formal and linguistic characterisation but into a series of integrated, interactive spaces incorporating services and environmental quality, and into integration of the landscape and greenery in the building complex in order to ensure a high level of comfort and quality in the workplace.
The fulcrum of the development is the research laboratory and office building, surrounded by volumes and spaces instrumental for technological purposes (the utilities and installations centre), functional purposes (warehouse and storage areas) and organisation (surveillance, parking and accessory facilities).
The mass of the large main building represents the institution it contains. Its layout is the result of a process of optimisation of workspaces and customisation and recognisability of different functions without giving up integration: three wings (two for laboratories and one for offices) linked by an element acting as a centre of gravity (atrium) constituting the element of vertical and horizontal interaction and the space identifying relations through the presence of services and areas for socialisation (meeting rooms, conference halls, lounges and areas for receiving visitors), with working conditions focusing on multiplicity, creativity, team spirit, communication and motivation.
The age of information and access has replaced compartmentalisation of human activities with a "collective mentality" which generates requirements for integration, multifunctionality and social relations. The attempt to achieve quality is based on non-standardisation of spaces, levels and circulatory logic, in an attempt to create environments on a human scale even in this large workplace: different configurations on different floors, differentiated common areas, internal streets and squares, theme areas.
The layout of the building as a whole is based on identification of appropriate functional modules responding to the spatial and dimensional requirements of the work and research that goes on inside them, resulting in different depths for different parts of the building, defining the steps of the weight-bearing structure and determining the rhythm of the façade systems.
Unlike recent passing fads which make breaking with geometric schemes the key to their form of expression, this project relies on the power of the orderly, rational element, underlined by its large scale thanks to the rhythmic textures of the rigid structural grid or the modularity of the façade components.
This is the source of the material differentiation of the volumes: the light transparency of the central element contrasting with the massive, solid volume of the two bodies containing the laboratories, and the office body, more streamlined and changeable thanks to a façade system intended to optimise the contribution of natural light in the workstations.
The material and chromatic properties of the elements making up the façade form a wrapper which is not independent of the structure of the activities going on inside the building, but finds its form of expression in elementary geometric rules, composition broken down into parts and modules and technological differentiation.
In view of this logic, the building's wrapper becomes an occasion for specialised study and engineering, enclosing a stratification of different functions in its interior: its own structural techniques, control of indoor comfort, image.
The plan for the new Research Centre, in line with the demands of contemporary architecture, addresses the issue of energy resources in line with research that is increasingly oriented towards use of technologies which reduce consumption and make productive facilities as energy autonomous as possible. Through a multitude of solutions ranging from the orientation of the building's volumes to control of daylight and the sun's rays, from choice of low maintenance materials to plant engineering strategies, the project pursues the twin goals of optimising thermal exchange with high performance components and cladding materials and generation of its own energy using passive systems to meet at least some of the building's energy requirements.
Here sustainability is not interpreted as a slogan but as a form of design which aims to apply technologically advanced systems and materials, use sustainable techniques and materials, optimise surfaces and volumes and limit heat dispersion, making conscious use of transparency.
Like any complex architectural project, the new Chiesi Centre is the product of systematic relationships between contributions made by a team working together from the early stages of design until completion of construction: integrated action of different skills leading to a combination of architectural designs and engineering solutions which are not meant to be spectacular, but to achieve the proportion, durability and true sustainability of architecture that aspires to contribute to the urban value of a place and express a company's ethical values.
Client: Chiesi Farmaceutici S.p.a.
Programme: Edificio destinato a laboratori di ricerca farmaceutica e uffici.
Awarding of contract: Gennaio 2005
Inauguration: Ottobre 2011
Lot surface: 60.000 mq
Gross built surface: 28.400 mq
Maximum height above ground: 25,7 m
Number of floors above ground: 6
Number of parking spots: 263
Structures: Prefabricated structures: Pizzarotti, Structural Steelwork: ICOM, Construction works: COGE, Building work: Carsana
Facades: Graniti Fiandre, Stahlbau Pichler, Saint Gobain
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