The footwear firm of Santoni has a new company headquarters at Corridonia designed by Alessandro Bassetti, housing offices, design laboratories and a spacious showroom area. The design brief was to exploit daylight and cut running costs, whilst achieving indoor comfort, worker wellbeing and energy independence as far as possible.
The square building is in glass, steel and aluminium which are 90% recyclable. On two sides it adheres to neighbouring buildings and rises three storeys in height around a large interior courtyard. The fully-glazed north-east and north-west elevations are a double-skin curtainwall with an 80 cm cavity. This acts as a greenhouse in winter and a solar chimney in summer: cold winter air heats up inside it and forms insulation, while in summer automated grids top and bottom cause an upward current which cools the inner surface of the glass. The air passes over water near the lower ventilation grills to cool it still further.
The elevations onto the courtyard are again glass-clad to maximize light to the adjoining offices. These are largely open-plan, making for versatility, flexibility and practicality in this workspace, as befits research, design and development. The glassed in courtyard is supported on a structure of low-slung ribs which, as the sun’s angle changes throughout the day, shed a diffuse light inside and avoid glare.
In putting their project into practice, the architects liaised with Promo who supplied all the metalwork of the shell and roof, as well as lending its experts to help with the relevant plans and calculations.
Besides the glass shell, energy saving is achieved by a photovoltaic plant composed of 3,800 polycrystalline silicon panels, and cisterns to collect and re-use rainwater.
Inside the hall and meeting rooms a number of green partitions, covering an area of some 300 sq m, help purify the air, regulate humidity and room temperature, while during the day they absorb CO2.