Bridge 129 by Giuseppe Innocenti in Reggio Emilia revamps an old craft building to the north of the city in a zone that is changing rapidly because of the nearby high-speed train station designed by Santiago Calatrava. The Bridge 129 project focused both on overhauling the appearance and energy performance of the structure, and on building a new office block next to it.
The architect chose to build a ventilated wall designed by Marazzi Engineering around the existing building to merge the aesthetic needs with the technological requirements. Evolution Stone Luserna porcelain stoneware was used to clad nearly the entire building, bar a few sections that are set back where bocciardato Monolith Black slabs were chosen. The 60x120 cm slabs were placed horizontally, creating a pattern that accentuates the lines of the façade, which also has long rows of windows.
The frames for these windows are metal, in anthracite grey, and jut out slightly from the cladding to create an appealing volumetric and chiaroscuro effect. On the upper section of the building, the parapets and overhangs were made in the same coloured metal, using the same slender lines that define and accentuate the various volumes that make up the whole.
The small terrace on the southern side on the first floor has a parapet topped with a single sheet of metal, creating a cube effect that contrasts with the rest of the stoneware cladding.
The decision to adopt the technological solution of the ventilated wall removed the need to demolish walls, opening up the option to redefine the overall volumes and giving the building a clear, uniform formal appearance. The ventilated wall was also an effective way of achieving the desired performance levels (insulation, weatherproofing, energy savings) and interior comfort. The added bonus was that it was also possible to optimise the ducts for the installations.