The new Headquarters of Pittini Group The new Headquarters of Pittini Group stand on an evocative area conveying a sense of space. The balanced and pleasant skyline has caught the attention of Massimo Roj and the designers of Progetto CMR since their first visit and has given them great ideas for the project. The sharp shapes of the (electric) furnace of the steel mill contrast respectfully with the soft lines of the misty hillsides with their pale colours. Pittini Group had been planning to have new headquarters for some time. The company was growing quickly, and the old headquarters, although still in a good state of repair, was no longer able to meet their organizational requirements. There was a need for a new, highly functional structure that could offer higher benefits in terms of efficiency and productivity, and, last but not least,
that could group under the same roof all the company’s activities, that had so far been scattered in different locations. 5100 square metres of total surface area, equal to 32 volleyball courts; 4100 cubic metres of concrete, equal to one and a half times the volume of an Olympic-size swimming pool; 530,000 kg of Pittini steel, equal to the weight of 440 saloon cars; 1800 square metres of glass surfaces, as in the Louvre Pyramid; 21,000 metres of cords, equal to a half marathon; 755 floodlit elements, twice as much as the Eiffel Tower; 231 chairs, reaching as far as three times the height of the Tower of Pisa; 150 desks, equal to the length of the Tower Bridge; Those numbers describe the dimensions of the new headquarters of Pittini Group, but they are far from sufficient to describe the quality and efficiency of the new b
uilding born from the integrated design of Progetto CMR. The building has a sober look, a T-shaped plan, and the areas belonging to the structure cover a surface of 10,000 square metres. It has 4 floors and a basement, and it grows around a central body which hosts a series of company activities. The company gathers together around this core, and each floor is divided into two parts, so that internal movements are limited and rationalised. Since the very beginning, the building has been conceived as an industrial structure designed to guarantee a perfect work management, and the well-being of collaborators has always been at the heart of the project. The structure is in harmony with the environment, green and natural on the one side and industrial on the other side. The architectural design, with its dynamic split-levels, is inspired by the billets produced by the group. This building presents a great number of distinctive elements, such as its harmonic volumes and aesthetic qualities, but especially its structural features and the building technologies employed, devised by Progetto CMR in collaboration with the technical staff of Pittini Group. To some extent, all those elements make it unique, both in Friuli Venezia Giulia and in Italy. The first difficulty was the presence of a vast and rich aquifer at a depth of 2.5 metres, covering the whole area on which the production plant is built. The foundations and the basement were both located under water level. The first solution devised was raising the building level by one meter and a half. The 1300 cubic metres of foundations have been constructed dividing the surface into small lots, and pumping the water out during the concrete casting and reinforcement. However, how the aquifer would interact with the structure was still unclear. In order to avoid any problem, a waterproofing technology was adopted. In addition to the employment of waterproof concrete, each joint in the structure was sealed with acrylic resin foam, thus producing a perfectly watertight monolithic construction, similar to a swimming pool turned insideout, around which water can flow freely without affecting the building. The second difficulty was the high seismic hazard in the region. In order to guarantee the safety of the building and a continuity in the activities of the group even in the case of major earthquakes, the structure has been positioned on pendulum seismic isolation bearings. During an earthquake, the telluric energy is dispersed through the pendulum movement that has a maximum span of 14 centimetres: it reacts in the same way as a trolley. The building responds to the seismic strain in a dynamic way, and does not suffer any damage even in the case of major seismic events. This technology is not yet very widespread in Italy, and it is the most advanced available on the market at the moment, for earthquake-resistant constructions. This building is one the first featuring it in high tech service industry in Friuli Venezia Giulia. The structure rests on reinforced concrete slabs and pillars made with the steel produced by Pittini. The cladding, designed to guarantee a correct thermal and sound insulation, is made with prefabricated reinforced concrete elements specially designed and produced in three different sizes, to decorate the façade and reproduce the exact proportions of the billets, the main semi-finished product manufactured by the group. The reinforced concrete slabs have been built using the Maplat system, patented by Pittini Group, and consisting of customized electro-welded wire mesh panels, both unidirectional and bidirectional, that can also be shaped if necessary. Those panels allow faster on-site assembly and laying of the reinforcement for structural elements, with large savings on time and costs compared to traditional systems. It is the perfect synthesis between shape and technology, safety and beauty. The project embodies the values of the group, through their steel and products, making the building a case study created by Progetto CMR. Progetto CMR Massimo Roj, architect, after many experiences in different and eminent specialised companies he founded, on 1994, his own firm Progetto CMR, today the Italian leading company in integrated design providing consultancies in the fields of Space Planning, Interior Design, Urban Planning and Architecture, with different offices located all over the world. His recent projects are: the requalification of Garibaldi Towers in Milan for Beni Stabili, the new Headquarters of La Stampa in Turin, the Headquarters of Pittini Group in Osoppo (Udine), the new Headquarters of Heinz in Milan and the Headquarters of ABI in Milan and in Rome. His last work, Less Ego more Eco, Towards Shared Sustainability is focused on the delicate relation between architecture, planning and sustainability. His latest achievement is the prestigious Mipim Awards 2015 for “Oxygen Eco-Tower” project, a residential tower in Jakarta. He’s Visiting Professor at Tianjin University.