Consorzio del Formaggio Parmigiano Reggiano Restyling
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Consorzio del Formaggio Parmigiano Reggiano Restyling

Balancing Light and Heat

Ingrid Fontanili | Nicola Morini

Consorzio del Formaggio Parmigiano Reggiano Restyling
By Editorial Staff -

Light, sun and warmth are the keys to wellbeing inside a building and so when the restyling of Consorzio del Formaggio Parmigiano Reggiano in Reggio Emilia began, it was developed around these three priorities. The original complex was built in the first half of the twentieth century to a design by architect Guido Canali and it develops across one longitudinal volume with an external parallel access ramp supported by a visible load-bearing structure. The use of large windows on the façades forged dialogue between the built space and the surrounding greenery. A similar ‘interactive’ relationship is created with the sky, but this time via a triangular skylight rising above the central section that connects the different parts of the complex.

The restyling project was the work of architects Ingrid Fontanili and Nicola Morini and it keeps the expressiveness and spirit of the original design, but it has brought improved energy efficiency, better insulation and an overall reduction in the ecological footprint. The main part of the project was replacing the glazed units, windows, roof and skylight windows, which was done by Peloso Infissi using Pellini systems, a company specializing in sunscreens that are made with a range of materials, including customized solutions.

 © Antonio Mazza courtesy of Pellini and Ingrid Fontanili

The first step was to replace the windows and glazed façades, but to do so reproducing the serial grid structure and the original metal profiles.  To screen the offices, the choice fell on the Latemar Catenella roller system with EnviroScreen Verosol fabric. This is an eco-friendly product that is 100% recyclable and Cradle-to-Cradle certified. Not only is it free of formaldehyde and PVC, but it also has the additional benefit of reflecting heat and regulating light, thus reducing power consumption with the consequent monetary savings.

The roof is cut lengthwise by the skylight, so to optimize light levels an automated blind system was included and is controlled by an external weather sensor. Prior to its installation, the pre-existing structure was taken down and then rebuilt, faithfully reconstructing the original inclinations and pitches. Insulated glass units were equipped with ScreenLine® integrated Venetian blinds; they are specially designed for roof applications as the slats can be tilted to provide the ideal amount of interior light. In the summer, this makes it possible to keep the inside cooler by blocking more sunlight, while in the winter more light is allowed in to improve the thermal and visual comfort. Additionally, natural light is diffused uniformly to avoid any unwanted direct glare.

The architects gave the entrance a contemporary overhaul, turning it into a black-glass cube flanked by the façade frames and keeping the original rhythm. The backlit front panel echoes the brand’s historic look.

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