A controlled-geometry envelope
Antonio Citterio, Patricia Viel
The Martinelli Area, a large and long-abandoned manufacturing site in Morbegno on the edge of the Valtellina valley, has been redeveloped in a project by Antonio Citterio and Patricia Viel in which the new buildings blend into the town’s historical, urban and natural fabric.
The area had remained in disuse pending authorisation for the redevelopment project since the closure in 1993 of the G.B. Martinelli factory, which for years had sustained thousands of families. Founded in the late nineteenth century, Martinelli produced nails, barbed wire, army and navy beds, picks and wheelbarrows. It was also the town’s timekeeper: when the siren sounded, the inhabitants of Morbegno knew it was midday.
By reorganising the large disused site, the redevelopment project significantly improved the town’s urban quality. It provided previously-lacking functions and revived businesses through an integrated development plan that included squares, public footpaths, green areas, parking spaces and services while ensuring that the volumes provided a well-balanced mix of residential, commercial, office and hospitality functions. The dilapidated buildings that once housed the metal-working plants were replaced with high-quality modern structures that blend harmoniously into the urban context.
Building G likewise expresses this perfect coordination between project, plan of intent and dialogue with the local area. Its clean, modern and neo-rationalist architecture is reflected in the play of solids and voids of the façade, where simplicity of composition and formal rigour come together in a well-balanced geometry.
The ventilated façade system not only provides an effective technological solution in terms of protection from the elements and thermal behaviour but also increases acoustic insulation by creating an effective barrier to the propagation of noise inside the building, thereby contributing to the overall architectural quality. Additionally, it keeps the building’s primary structures protected and dry, avoiding the risk of degradation and reducing maintenance costs.
The Mystone Gris Fleury stone-effect porcelain tiles from Marazzi, chosen in a grey colour and multiple sizes (20×120 cm, 30×120 cm, 40×120 cm, 60×120 cm) for the envelope give the exterior of the building a distinctive appearance. The geometric pattern of panels of different sizes, laid in non-repetitive sequences, creates a composition that fits in perfectly with the geometric arrangement of the façade openings.
The colour stability, low absorption and ease of cleaning of porcelain also guarantee the durability of the envelope’s aesthetic and technical qualities.
The collection is inspired by a stone of French origin and stands out for its delicate varied shade effect. Available in 5 colours and 5 sizes, including large formats, the Mystone Gris Fleury panels have a highly natural look and are ideal for architects wishing to return to the traditional use of stone without sacrificing the technical performance of porcelain.
Marazzi, Mystone Gris Fleury
20x120, 30x120, 40x120, 60x120 cm
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): ≤ 0,05
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): A
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): 120-150
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): compliant
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R9
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): compliant
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): compliant