Projects

Panariagroup Headquarters - Finale Emilia (MO)

The story of a rebirth

With a magisterial example of resilience, facing difficulties and transforming them into opportunities, the people of Emilia have overcome the earthquake of 2012 and given new life to this generous land and its rich resources
Author
Roberta Busnelli
Architect
Archilinea
Surfaces
PANARIA CERAMICA
Year of completion
2014

The matter of rebirth has been dealt with by many disciplines throughout history. Mythology spoke of the Phoenix, a bird like an eagle which is reborn from its own ashes, a symbol of all those who emerge renewed, more beautiful and stronger from their misfortunes. In psychology the concept of resilience refers specifically to the capacity to respond in a positive manner to traumatic events. These images perfectly describe the response of the people of Emilia to the terrible consequences of the earthquakes which struck their land on the 20 and 29 May 2012. In this historic region, full of life, flavours and the most varied industries, this tragic event caused many deaths and destroyed numerous buildings. Among them, the factories and warehouses of the ceramics district of Modena, the province in which the earthquakes had their epicentre, were hard hit. But the people of Emilia, exemplifying the values of resilience and laboriousness, soon rebuilt their land and its resources, including its business structures, transforming this dramatic event into an occasion to arise once more, stronger than before. This is particularly true of Ceramica Panaria, one of the eight brands of Panariagroup, an international leader in the porcelain tile and laminated stoneware sector, whose factory was damaged so severely in 2012 that the owners were obliged to commission the Sassuolo-based architecture practice Archilinea to draw up a general renovation plan. Aiming to improve the manufacturing side, the architects focused on consolidating and seismically improving the building, by creating four large portals in steel mesh anchored to its supporting structures. The portal frames where covered in ceramic panels made by the company itself, anchored in a flush mounting system for curtain walls using two types of 100 x 300 cm panels coupled to each other, of 3 mm and 5 mm thickness respectively. Not only does the elegant minimalism of the material and design stand out for the refinement of the Experience 0.3 porcelain collection, in the luminous Dense White tonality, but the exterior of the building makes a strong statement for sustainability and bio-climatic architecture with its high thermal performance, thanks to the 1088 m2 of ceramic curtain wall, alternating dramatically with glazed facades. The “green” character of the building is reinforced by the designers’ development of greenness both vertically, with large areas of greenery harmoniously blended with the structure, and at the foot of the building, where the pedestrian areas and walkways in ceramics are accompanied by extensive lawns, hedges and flowerbeds. Inside the building, the floors and walls are dominated by the colours Grigio Vivo and Nero Puro (Living Grey and Pure Black) from the same Experience 0.3 collection, in the 100 x 300 cm Plus size, in its various applications. To highlight the extraordinary potential of this resin-effect material, the reception counter and bathroom furnishings have all been made in high quality single blocks covered in ceramic.

Tiles
Panaria Ceramica, Experience 0.3 series
Type
porcelain stoneware
Sizes
100x300 cm
Colours
Bianco Denso, Grigio Vivo, Nero Puro
Technical characteristics
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): <=0,1%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): ULA-UHA
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): <=175 MM3
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): conforme
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): conforme
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): >=35N/MM2
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R9
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): conforme
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): conforme
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): conforme
Certifications and awards
LEED
EMAS
ISO 14001
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