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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

FABER HEADQUARTERS in Udine, Italy by GEZA Gri e Zucchi Architetti Associati

 
May 3rd, 2015 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: GEZA Gri e Zucchi Architetti Associati

Two Landscapes

Faber Industrie Spa are world leading manufacturers of steel cylinders. Their new headquarters are located at a boundary between an industrial area and farmland, and hence belong to both the industrial and the natural landscape. The aim of the project is to interface both landscapes and acknowledge their different qualities and values.

Image Courtesy © Massimo Crivellari

Image Courtesy © Massimo Crivellari

  • Architects: GEZA Gri e Zucchi Architetti Associati
  • Project: FABER HEADQUARTERS
  • Location: via dell’Industria, Cividale del Friuli, Udine, Italy
  • Photography: Massimo Crivellari
  • Software used: Vectorworks
  • Project: Stefano Gri, Piero Zucchi
  • Team: Stefania Anzil, Chiara Marchetti, Tania Teixeira, Francesco Casella, Tina Carletti
  • Structural Engineer: Nuttassociati, Udine, Italy
  • Facade Engineer: Ing. Angelo Peruzza
Image Courtesy © Massimo Crivellari

Image Courtesy © Massimo Crivellari

  • Mechanical Engineer: Bulfon Associati, Udine
  • Electrical Engineer: Studio Venica, Udine
  • MEP consultant: HT Engineering, Udine
  • Mechanical Systems: Elettrica Ducale
  • Client : Faber Industrie spa
  • Data: Parcel area: 106.000 sq m
  • Project area: 3.170 sq m + 1180 sq m basement
  • Volumetric dimensions: 10.500 cubic m
  • Chronology: Design period: 2009-2011 , Construction period: 2011-2013
Image Courtesy © Massimo Crivellari

Image Courtesy © Massimo Crivellari

Two Volumes

The volume of the building is designed to “bring the two landscapes inside”, and integrate them in the new spaces. The building consists of two shifted longitudinal volumes linked by an entrance hall.

Two Open Courtyards

As a result, two “internal” open spaces are created, and controlled by views over the building and over the two landscapes.
The designers here worked to obtain a reduced scale, i.e. the human scale, as opposed to the large-scale industrial area. While one courtyard is “hard”, lined with trees and conceived as a living area, the other courtyard is “soft”, entirely green and free, with an open visual depth eastwards, facing the manufacturing facilities and the mountains towards the Slovenian border.

Image Courtesy © Massimo Crivellari

Image Courtesy © Massimo Crivellari

The Section and Head Fronts

The notion of “double” is mirrored in the section, that is two “S” shapes. The corridor/office plan is inverted on the two levels: one totally blind side and one totally open side are overlapped, giving way to radically shifting open/ closed fronts. The eastern head fronts of the office bodies actually highlight the S-section, while the western head fronts, where fire-exit stairs are accommodated inside wall panels, are closed and silent.

Image Courtesy © Massimo Crivellari

Image Courtesy © Massimo Crivellari

Two Materials
The notion of “double” permeates the whole design process, including the façade design. The building is covered in a ventilated “skin” made of two materials, i.e. black concrete and black glass. The prefabricated concrete walls and the glazed front cells alike are horizontal, 4 metres wide and 70 centimeters high. All elements are connected with the same method, i.e. 20 millimeters wide open joints. This gap element governs all installations of the front parts, ground line and skyline, horizontal and vertical separations, change in materials, and corner solutions. The black skin of Faber building is a product of the designers’ research on abstraction. Although the building is about 100 metres long, it looks “small” as compared to other huge industrial plants. Thanks to the subtle nuances created by four different types of glass and five different types of concrete,  the building maintains the rigorous shape and layout of an industrial facility. Then, it will not stand out from the context because of its shape, but only because of the lightness generated by one colour getting degraded as it relates with the surrounding grass, tarmac, manufacturing plants, the sky and the people. Black concrete is also the main feature of the most important area inside the building: the entrance hall has a large black-on-black terrazzo floor, a “liquid” element helping mirror and connect the two green courtyards together.

Image Courtesy © Massimo Crivellari

Image Courtesy © Massimo Crivellari

Functional Specifications
The new headquarters cover an area of about 2,800 square metres above the ground, and of about 1,400 square metres underground. They consist of two longitudinal volumes, oriented east to west, with an overall width of 7.80 metres, and different heights and lengths. The two blocks merge through a central volume serving as hall/reception, waiting area and functional connection of all areas. All open spaces are lined with hedgerows of black poplars, which serve as standing “landmarks” to match the front wall panels. The hedgerow contour alternatively moves towards the inner or outer boundary of the area to hide the car park or highlight the perspective views.

Image Courtesy © Massimo Crivellari

Image Courtesy © Massimo Crivellari

Faber Headquarters
Established in 1972, Faber Industrie has grown rapidly to become the leader in the production of seamless steel and composite cylinders for the storage of high-pressure gases. All over the world Faber has earned the best reputation for its high standards of quality and for its capability to comply with the most stringent specifications set down by International Bodies, Local Authorities and its customers. A complete range of cylinders, from 1 to 259 litres water capacity, four modern factories, a competent, fully trained workforce with a devotion to quality and flexibility, has made Faber a true global supplier of high-pressure cylinders throughout the five continents. The four factories in the North East Italy, with a total floor space of 70.000 m2 , manufacture more than 900.000 cylinders per annum. Coupled with its high production capacity with built in quality, Faber is viewed as the industry leader in the supply of high-pressure cylinders. Stefano Gri and Piero Zucchi founded the practice Geza – Gri e Zucchi Architetti Associati in Udine in 1999.

Image Courtesy © Massimo Crivellari

Image Courtesy © Massimo Crivellari

Stefano Gri (born in Udine in 1963) graduated as an Architect at IUAV, Venice, in 1988 and has been registered in the Roll of Architects of Udine (Italy) since 1990. After several vocational experiences in Italy, he moved to Barcelona, Spain to work with the practice of architects Tonet Sunyer + Jordi Badia in 1992.

Piero Zucchi (born in Udine in 1965) graduated as an Architect at IUAV, Venice, in 1992. He then studied at ETSA in Seville, Spain and attended a Masterclass with Rem Koolhaas at BIA in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in 1994. He has been registered in the Roll of Architects of Udine (Italy) since 1993. He worked with Studio Valle Architetti Associati in Udine from 1993 to 1998.

Image Courtesy © Massimo Crivellari

Image Courtesy © Massimo Crivellari

Geza – Stefano Gri e Piero Zucchi
In addition to working in Geza, both at individual or shared projects, Stefano Gri and Piero Zucchi have been Visiting Professor at the University IUAV of Venice, University of Trieste-Gorizia and currently they are visiting professors at Ljubljana University, Faculty of Architecture.

Since 2002, GEZA has been invited in Schools, Universities, Professional and Cultural Associations to present and discuss its thesis: as an instance the Inetrnational Design Seminar in Novacella (BZ) in 1995, a conference held in Pordenone in 2006 for the 3rd urban design workshop organized by Associazione La Città Complessa, as well as lectures at IUAV in Venice (2006, 2007, 2008) and at the University of Trieste in 2009. They also held a lecture in Graz in 2009, for the International Congress ItaSloAut, and a lecture with a seminar at VAA Office and at the TUE-University of Eindhoven in the Netherlands; in 2012 they held a lecture at International Summer School Ivrea (Turin) and conferences in Castelfranco Veneto (Treviso) and Triennale in Milan; in January 2013 they were invited by Laboratorio di Architettura Contemporanea” of Brescia and in November of the same year, as jury members of Piranesi Award, they held a lecture during the Piran days of Architecture; in May 2014 GEZA
attended at Internationaler Architektenkongress with the lecture “Italienisches Design für respektvolles Bauen” in San Servolo, Venice, and in June at “Thinking Varese”, series of meetings organized by Ordine degli Architetti di Varese; in October, in the occasion of “APERTURE – Geza Architectures” exhibition in Ljubljana, they held a lecture at the Faculty of Architecture, University of Ljubljana.

Image Courtesy © Massimo Crivellari

Image Courtesy © Massimo Crivellari

Image Courtesy © Massimo Crivellari

Image Courtesy © Massimo Crivellari

Image Courtesy © Massimo Crivellari

Image Courtesy © Massimo Crivellari

Image Courtesy © Massimo Crivellari

Image Courtesy © Massimo Crivellari

Image Courtesy © Massimo Crivellari

Image Courtesy © Massimo Crivellari

Image Courtesy © Massimo Crivellari

Image Courtesy © Massimo Crivellari

Image Courtesy © Massimo Crivellari

Image Courtesy © Massimo Crivellari

Image Courtesy © GEZA Gri e Zucchi Architetti Associati

Image Courtesy © GEZA Gri e Zucchi Architetti Associati

Image Courtesy © GEZA Gri e Zucchi Architetti Associati

Image Courtesy © GEZA Gri e Zucchi Architetti Associati

Image Courtesy © GEZA Gri e Zucchi Architetti Associati

Image Courtesy © GEZA Gri e Zucchi Architetti Associati

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Categories: Headquarters, Offices, Vectorworks

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