The laser system manufacturing group El.En. has extended its premises at Calenzano to plans by Studio Tecnico bdp. This forms part of a complete upgrade to the production site. The whole of the new complex housing offices and laboratories stands on pilotis and is composed of two buildings developing out sideways from two of the main elevations of the existing (and still productive) industrial unit. These two blocks are linked by a raised connecting unit for which the first floor of the previous office block had to be demolished.
Besides paying formal tribute to transparency and technology as a company image, the design concept sets out to attain various specific targets: achievement of high indoor comfort whilst containing energy consumption; a general sense of lightness due to the use of dry-build technologies; modular replaceable hardware; maximum flexibility of the indoor layout and energy systems. The shell is a single-skin glass curtainwall that is so light and transparent it blends with the earlier context and makes a feature of the rural property from which the site started. The Metra Poliedra SKY 50 facade system has a thermal-break aluminium structure supporting selective AGC Flat Glass Italia double-glazing units that are motorized to open outwards hatch-like. To contain energy consumption, the façade slopes outwards by 15° which meets architectural needs whilst optimizing glass transmittance performance: above all in summer the sun’s rays are dealt with better. Choosing industrial-style materials and components made for easier technical testing in the devising of sub-systems, cut down building times, and kept builder’s dust relatively low so as not to disturb the current manufacturing cycle.