A new industrial landscape
Maria Giulia Zunino
Marcela Veronica Grassi
Nicola Tommaso Bettini, Giuseppe Falchetti
MTA, a market leading company in the production of electronic and electromechanical components for the automotive, off highway and race markets, has long been known for its future-looking vision based on confidence and commitment. These qualities were much in evidence in the company’s response to the damage caused by the earthquake of 2012. Reconstruction work continued uninterruptedly, enabling the new production facility in Rolo to be opened in the space of just two years. A sense of confidence and commitment is also reflected in the architecture project created by Nicola Tommaso Bettini and Giuseppe Falchetti.
Transparency and harmony, stability and independence, organisation and interaction are the distinctive features of this micro urbanisation project aimed at generating new relationships between people and between workflows. The pure, square volumes, which remain independent in spite of their proximity, define a fluid path and create a new dynamic skyline with changing proportions and heights. They are parallelepipeds of different shapes and sizes but integral parts of the same design unit. The large box-like volumes used for the production and storage activities are closed off perfectly by aluminium facades; the two-level office block is completely permeable to light and looks out over a courtyard and winter garden; while the service and technical building is a lower but glazed volume.
At a structural level the buildings are designed not just to withstand further earthquakes but also to allow for a freer visual connection between the spaces. The pillars bolted to the steel frames of the glazed buildings and the long steel trusses supported by uprights embedded in the feet of the closed volumes create large free surfaces.
Inside, everything is rendered particularly fluid by the ceramic floor covering consisting of large-format tiles from the eco-friendly recycled Architech collection, chosen in the colour grey to reflect the shade of the string course panels. The choice of Floor Gres as the tile supplier is entirely consistent with this sustainable design approach, which focuses not just on the use of the industrial complex but also on end-of-life decommissioning. The architecture is fully recyclable and uses dry construction methods throughout. The building is easy to disassemble, while the materials are recyclable, durable and produced from renewable raw materials using safe, healthy and sustainable processes that involve the least possible use of non-renewable energy.
This strong environmental awareness – the complex is also energy independent thanks to the photovoltaic panels and the large planted garden which mitigates the environmental impact of the building by reusing excavated material – goes hand in hand with aesthetic research.
The depth of the aluminium frames and the treatment of the glass windows reinforce or conceal the volumes, which throughout the day offer a changing play of light, shadows and reflections of the natural and built environment.