Form and performance
Archilinea - Prospazio
A car, like a building, is judged not just by its appearance but above all by its performance — which increasingly means high energy efficiency, low fuel consumption, reduced emissions and safety. It is hardly surprising then that the factory buildings used by the world’s leading carmakers should reflect a desire to combine image with green credentials, form with eco-efficiency.
Lamborghini’s Protoshop however marks an entirely new step in the company’s journey of innovation as the first multilevel industrial building in Italy to gain Class A certification.
This quest for excellence would certainly have met with the approval of the company’s founder Ferruccio Lamborghini, who produced tractors before entering the world of Gran Turismo sports cars. According to his biographers, Ferruccio was involved in a heated argument with Enzo Ferrari in which he complained about a number of shortcomings of his Ferrari car, receiving an indignant reply from Ferrari: «The car goes just fine. The problem is that you only know how to drive tractors.» Ferruccio’s response was to build a new sports car from scratch based on his own ideas. Automobili Lamborghini was born and just six months later, in 1963, it displayed its first model at the Turin Motor Show. Within three years, Lamborghini had sealed its place in history with the launch of the legendary Miura. The new Lamborghini complex in Sant’Agata Bolognese, built to accommodate the prototype and pre-series department, was designed by the Modena-based architecture practice Prospazio and extends over an area of around 5,000 square metres on two floors. The design team’s project aimed to meet not just the requirements of a showcase factory but also the functional and spatial needs of the production processes. At the same time, they wanted a building with the highest possible energy efficiency that would maximise environmental performance and reduce management costs. The multilevel structure is built to seismic standards and consists of a frame, columns and beams made of precast reinforced concrete braced by three rigid cores (also made of reinforced concrete) housing the stairwells, lifts and car lifts.
One of the key architectural and energy saving features is the insulated and ventilated shell that encloses the entire building. It consists of insulating rockwool panels with a total thickness of 14 centimetres and an external protective casing of Lea Slimtech ultra-thin porcelain laminate sheets. These innovative products are based on a sophisticated industrial process and come in the extra-large dimensions of 3 metres by 1 metre with a thickness of just 3 millimetres. The Lea Slimtech sheets, in the Nero Lamborghini colour created specially by Lea Ceramiche for this project, were installed in a horizontal layout. An exposed anchoring system was used to fix them to a substructure sized in such a way as to create a ventilated air gap between the cladding and the insulation. The natural ventilation optimises the façade’s summertime performance, improving internal comfort and guaranteeing the correct heat and humidity balance of the wall/insulation.
Thanks to the shell construction solutions combined with a heat-pump air-conditioning system and an automatic and remotely controllable lighting system, the building is able to reduce atmospheric CO2 emissions by almost 33,000 kilograms a year and achieve energy savings of more than 53,000 kWh a year, in keeping with Lamborghini and Audi’s mission to become zero-impact companies.
Lea Ceramiche, Slimtech series
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): ≤0,1%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): UHA ULA
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): ≤ 145 mm3
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): > 35 N/mm2
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R9
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant