Mirage Headquarters - Pavullo (MO)

An eco-friendly office restyling project

Research, environmental sustainability and aesthetics come together in the renovated Mirage headquarters
Laura Franceschi
Paola De Pietri
Marazzi Architetti
Year of completion

The Mirage offices alongside the SS12 state road in Pavullo, a town in the province of Modena in northern Italy, recently underwent a renovation, restyling and energy upgrade project of outstanding interest. The goal of the project, carried through by Parma-based practice Studio Marazzi Architetti, was to transform the ceramic company’s headquarters into a manifesto for ceramic tiles, underscoring the contribution that these products can make to an effective and efficient structure. For this reason, the project won an honourable mention in the Institutional category of the 2012 «Ceramics and Design» architecture competition organised by Confindustria Ceramica. As architects Davide Marazzi and Andrea Montironi explained, the existing building underwent a process of «architectural rationalisation that involved demolishing the incongruous volumes that had accumulated over the years and renovating the façades in such a way as to clearly reflect the company’s identity». Plain and Evo_2 series porcelain tiles produced by Mirage were used in all their possible applications. The main elevation features a large projecting cornice clad on all sides with 60×120 cm tiles as well as large expanses of ventilated façades with 90×90 cm size panels interspersed with sections of horizontal curtain wall glazing. At ground level, a system of square cross-section ceramic-clad tubular solar screen elements serve to hide a series of service windows from view. On the south elevation, the ceramic tiles dialogue and integrate with an amorphous silicon thin-film photovoltaic façade, while on the south-west side a series of rectangular cross-section solar screens, again made of porcelain, are embedded in a regular lattice of projecting cornices to provide protection from afternoon sunlight. «A successful work of architecture must be based on a good idea followed up by effective technical and technological implementation with attention to detail and awareness of ecological issues and social responsibility,» continued the architects. Experimentation and technical and aesthetic innovation using Italian products were key aspects of the project. «In view of their extensive application and aesthetic potential and constant improvements in their performance characteristics, ceramic products were chosen to enhance the ethical and green credentials of the project as a whole.» The new entrances also underwent major upgrade work. The main entrance features a new stairway and a cantilever roof coordinating with a sequence of vertical metal tubular structures, while the secondary elevation is clad with porcelain. Last but not least, the façades underwent complete energy remediation that involved installing exterior cladding and replacing all windows with high-performance thermal break fixtures.

Mirage, Plain and Evo_2 series
porcelain stoneware
60x60 - 90x90 - 60x120 cm
Plain series: Cenere, Perla, Puro. Evo_2 series: Lab_Fog
Technical characteristics
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): compliant
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): compliant
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): compliant
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): compliant
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): compliant
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): compliant
Certifications and awards
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