A balanced approach to the rearrangement of space
Giovanni Cigognetti, Michele Piccardi, Clara Vitale - Studio Associato d'Architettura e Urbanistica
Situated in the most historic part of Brescia, on the south side of town, the recently remodelled complex is the nerve centre of Editoriale Bresciana, a leading news and media company serving the city and province of Brescia. The company runs the Giornale di Brescia daily newspaper, several radio stations and a TV channel called Teletutto.
The ground floor of the building is below street level and accommodates the television studios, radio stations and the large data centre that serves the entire publishing group.
On the first floor is the headquarters of the Giornale di Brescia, complete with editorial department, printing department and management and administrative offices. The archives, storage areas, and technical services, meanwhile, are on the two basement floors, which used to house the rotary printing and post-press systems, before they were moved to a new printing centre in Erbusco in the early 2000s.
Changes in editorial practices, especially in the news arena, have led to a big fall in the number of office-based staff and a commensurate rise in online collaboration from remote workstations. This had left many areas of the building underused or vacant, prompting the owners to reorganise the interior space completely.
The introduction of a new rotary press at Erbusco, combined with new IT systems, also caused a big reduction in the number of people involved in composition, so the areas allocated to this purpose were no longer being used to best effect.
The firm of architects tasked with rearranging the interior space – Studio Associato d’Architettura e Urbanistica – Giovanni Cigognetti, Michele Piccardi, Clara Vitale – drew up a plan involving the construction of a single, new entrance, designed to facilitate flows of personnel engaged in various editorial activities, and improve control and safety in the event of an emergency.
Restored to ground-floor level, the entrance is reached via an access ramp with a suitable gradient for use by people with disabilities, and leads to a small piazza in front of a glazed connecting structure. This houses the building’s only reception area, which overlooks the ground floor and serves as a point of divergence and convergence for people heading to and from the various work areas.
The new structure, featuring a glass façade screen-printed with typographic characters – which are visible both day and night thanks to appropriate artificial lighting – helps make the newspaper headquarters a landmark, while also serving as the starting point for a walk-through chronicle of the history and development of the Giornale di Brescia and the Group’s other businesses.
When the staff of the Numerica division were relocated and grouped together in the southernmost part of the building, the existing portico was partially closed as a result. This paved the way for the creation of an open-space environment in which the management and administrative offices could be rearranged according to a more logical layout.
To bring a sense of uniformity to the broad spaces of the entrance hall, editorial department and various other work areas, the architects opted for a range of pieces from the Industrial porcelain tile collection by FloorGres. Large-format panels, in a refined tone of Sage, cover a total area of 1000 square metres and blend seamlessly with the soberly understated shapes and shades of the interior design as a whole. The same materials, but this time in Moka, are reprised in the table-tops in the meeting area, as well as in the desk-tops.
Floor Gres, serie Industrial
Moka and Sage
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): 0,08%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): ULA, UA, UHA
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): 140
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): 50
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R10
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant