Trafilerie Mazzoleni: new administration centre in Bergamo

A contemporary building with essential forms and changing textures

At the centre of this project is the administration centre of Trafilerie Mazzoleni, an historical wire mill producing steel wire and other metallurgical products, located at the heart of Bergamo it has been in operation for over a century. The project design is fully dry laid and it is defined by an essential form marked by the alternation of dark and light tones as well as a texture changing with the direction of sunlight.

The new building, constructed on the original site, delivers a new office block for the vast industrial complex as part of the regeneration process of the entire urban area, which began with the redevelopment of the Gewiss Stadium.

The architectural design reinterprets the shape of the original disused warehouse,  characterised by a singular, long and narrow lie, and it becomes the renewed perimeter of the property on the side of the new square at the foot of the stadium. The industrial area, established in the early 1900s, was originally encircled by buildings preventing the dialogue with the expanding city, which has now incorporated it.

In its evolution, the project keeps its identity as a border and at the same time it seeks a new dialogue with the city’s public dimension. This is achieved by the set-back position in relation to the main access road thus creating a small urban space.

The building is an essential shape, without eaves, the contemporary archetype of a factory, and at the same time it is dynamic thanks to an outer surface in constant movement. The changing shadows of a weave of buttons is the expression of the active energy inside the manufacturing plant.

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Developing on two levels and comprising of two 500sqm units, the construction was designed using prefabricated systems to reduce the time for completion to eight months in total. It is constructed using a modular metal structure, with a regular frame which influences that of the façade, while the cover develops with a system of prefabricated steel cassettes used here for the first time in Italy.

The alternation of white, textured, reinforced concrete panels and the burnished window frames gives the façade a leading role in the composition of the structure. The panels were engineered using customised matrixes. The alternating smooth, acid-etched and textured surfaces become protagonists in relation to the position of the sun.

Door and window frames, enhanced by narrow intrados, alternate with the façade panels and are completed by trapezoidal corrugated-sheathing that helps to compensate the internal difference in level of the floor slab and the covering. The main entrance of the building, on the narrow front, is fully glazed and protected by a sheet of burnished lath that follows the shape of the prospect recalling the material of the inserts on the longitudinal façade. An uninterrupted full length frame renders the entrance permeable to sight conferring it the connotation of a portal.

The office interiors have an essential character; the structure and systems are deliberately left exposed, giving the office space an industrial and welcoming feel. The chromatic impact is based on alternating the white colour of the finish with the dark colour of the floors and windows, while the characterizing green iron staircase stands out.

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A compact and refined industrial construction that rekindles the dialogue with the city.

A word from CAPITANIO: “This project was meant to favour the relationship between the largest manufacturing plant still present in a central area in Bergamo and its environs. The role of industry inside the city underwent remarkable  transformations in the last hundred years. From its privileged position and promotion in the immediate post war period, it was pushed outwards. It is however making a comeback in political agendas with the intent to enhance what remains and encourage new industrial dimensions to return”.

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