Laboratory and Socio-Educational Center
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Laboratory and Socio-Educational Center

Glazed and Untreated Bricks that Enhance Materiality

ifdesign

Laboratory and Socio-Educational Center
By Editorial Staff -
T2D has participated in the project

The innovative Laboratory and Socio-Educational Center, designed by ifdesign, enhances the industrial periphery of Erba by seamlessly integrating into the surrounding urban landscape. Upon closer inspection, one can discern the architects’ dedication to pioneering new forms of expression through the adept use of textures and colors in the selected building materials. Such elements serve as vital components in shaping the project’s distinctive stylistic identity. The Poroton® blocks supplied by T2D were used for the façades; together with the compositional choices made by ifdesign, the use of such elements – sometimes glazed, sometimes untreated – was the basis for the project winning joint first prize at the 2022 Poroton Awards®. In addition to the impeccable material rendering of the architecture, the jury delighted in the way the architects placed the building within a complex dedicated to the care of people who are differently-abled, emphasizing that being differently-abled should be experienced as a different point of view. The use of exposed Poroton bricks® and the related external refacing using partitions not only meets the needs of a limited budget, but also becomes a powerful means of expression, connoted, where necessary, by the use of color. In the socio-educational center, the infill of 30 cm P800 Incastro bricks is only partially plastered according to strict geometric alignments, leaving the masonry and joints exposed in several places, concretizing a simple and essential language, softened when necessary by exploiting color variations to identify the different parts of the complex. The artisan workshops, on the other hand, are made of 39 cm P800 MA reinforced masonry. They are adorned with exterior partitions that are left visible and painted black on the rear elevations, where the main entrance is located. On the other side, the front façades, which face the communal open spaces, are finished with colored fiberglass, giving them a bold and expressive appearance. The project is complemented by multiple light fixtures and power cables that are intentionally left visible, accompanied by junction boxes and metal service pipes that evoke a maritime esthetic. These elements traverse intricate pathways, forming what is in all respects the nervous system of the building.

Laboratorio e Centro socio-educativo © Andrea Martiradonna, Courtesy T2D

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