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Annex Building: a new offices tower in Bologna

Winner of the Emilia-Romagna Architecture Award, the project picks up on the precision of industrial manufacturing through the design's abstract austerity and transparent materials

Map Studio

Annex Building Map Studio Bologna
By Editorial Staff -
Pichler has participated in the project

A cuboid 'hovering' above the area obtained by demolishing three industrial edifices: designed by MAP Studio, Annex Building in Bologna is a newly constructed offices tower block, which won the first edition of the Emilia-Romagna Architecture Award ‒ an event-competition that is part of the Festival dell’Architettura Rigenera-Circolare

Implementing urban regeneration, the project took shape on the edge of an industrial district: a new volume of the same size has been inserted subsequent to the demolition, and this manages to rise in height above its surrounding context thanks to the extra increase in outline as allowed for by the urban planning regulations currently in force. What emerges is a light dynamic offices building, where large expanses of glass make it stand out from the existing constructions; nonetheless it instils a harmonious and functional dialogue with these. In addition, a spacious garden for use by the whole community has been created, also mediating the relationship between the existing and the new.

Annex Building, MAP Studio © Claudia Rossini, courtesy MAP Studio

 

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Open spaces also for socialization

Offering a total of 2,300 m2 in floor space (to which are added the 4,050 m2 below ground), the building stands nine storeys tall ‒ the largest number allowed above ground ‒ and has an entrance level lower than the surrounding land. The designers had to take into account the regulations dictated by the nearby Marconi Airport, particularly in terms of height. This design restraint was converted into an opportunity to create an environment for socialization: the broad entrance staircase in fact also acts as a communal space and meeting place for employees.

Zones for other purposes are located below ground, and these include a two-floor parking area and a patio that is lowered further: both are suitably ventilated and naturally lit despite the sunken level. For these technical solutions, the architects settled on an eco-material, green gneiss stone, where its color hues contribute to creating a new landscape.

 

Annex Building, MAP Studio © Claudia Rossini, courtesy MAP Studio

 

>>> Also discover Nice Brasil Headquarters in São Paulo, designed in the shape of a tropical leaf by Mario Cucinella

 

Stainless steel-clad façades

Design of the elevations is marked by a regular grid with a pronounced austerity of style, harking back to the industrial identity of the previous buildings. The bead-blasted stainless steel cladding to the edifice frames the broad windows, endowing them with an accentuated degree of abstraction in comparison with the surrounding constructions.

The internal layout has also been thought through with great care. In order to provide the largest amount of free surface area, the architects introduced a plan type measuring 27 x 11.8 meters, which also yields a compact load-bearing services core of elevator and stairwells, the restroom block and systems shafts, thus freeing up surface area for offices and encouraging circulation between the various settings. The load-bearing structure supporting the ceilings to the nine floors is created with post-stressed reinforced concrete beams cantilevered on both sides along the longitudinal axis of the tower block.

Credits

Location: Bologna
Architect: MAP Studio (Magnani Pelzel Architetti associati)
Building area: 6204 m2

Consultants
Structures: Tecnobrevetti
Plant Equipment: Studio Lagrecacolonna
Health and Safety: Antonio Girello

Suppliers
Curtain Wall: Pichler

Photography by Claudia Rossini, courtesy of MAP Studio
 

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