Alba is a small town in the heart of the Langhe district, in Southern Piedmont (Italy’s North). As a town, it has leveraged its agricultural and manufacturing heritage into an extraordinary driver of growth. Confectionery giant Ferrero first began operating here in 1946. The company still has its main headquarters in the town. As well as its manufacturing plants and the Fondazione Ferrero, since 2003 the Alba-based confectionary company has been working with the Turin-based a.s. practice and its architects on a project for a brand-new research facility and new company offices. Situated not far from Ferrero’s manufacturing district, to the north-west of Alba’s old town, the research facility and offices occupy and reuse the footprint and abandoned buildings of the former Pellisseri spinning factory. Begun in early 2003 after amendment of Alba’s municipal development plan, rezoning this industrial area for the tertiary and services sector, the project went through three phases en route to completion in 2017. The first stage of work began in 2004: demolition of all the architectural elements that, over the years, had almost completely concealed the original 18th-century spinning factory. The research facility occupies the former spinning factory’s horseshoe-shaped building; a glazed volume forms its fourth side. The area below the courtyard was dug out to build a Conference Center with a multifunction hall for up to 550 people. In 2009, work began on a new glazed, four-story above ground parallelepiped, featuring a 100 m long, 20 m high and 20 m wide penthouse, with its southern side cut at a 45-degree angle. The building offers two basement levels for technology and parking, four above-ground floors for offices, and a penthouse with multi-purpose spaces and views. With the exception of its northern and western walls, whose windows follow the line of the former yarn factory, the other façades are faced with ventilated double glazing to permit as much natural lighting as possible for the interior. Access to the new complex is via the south-western corner of the lot, through a triangular plan pavilion built in 2007. The pavilion was expanded in 2017 to adapt to growing footfall. The Porter’s Office has one entrance and two exits, to direct the flow of people towards the Research Facility and the Linear office building. Inside, distribution is organized around a reception area for visitors, access for employees, a number of service rooms for employees, a supervision area and three fully-glassed meeting rooms. In this recent project, Ferrero has strengthened its links with Alba, restating not just its local economic importance, but its desire to recover and regenerate key parts of the town’s manufacturing heritage.
Location: Alba (Cuneo Province), Italy
Client: Ferrero Management Services
Architects: Studio AS Architetti Associati (Edoardo Astegiano, Renzo Conti, Federico Morgando, Daniela Casalino)
Project Architects: Paolo Brosio, Manuela Truant, Massimo Pelisseri
Structural: Francesco Ravizza
Technical Systems: EL Engineering
Inside Doors and Woodworks: Lualdi
Floors: Ceramiche Caesar
Partition Systems: IOC
Seats: Herman Miller
Lighting: iGuzzini illuminazione
Suspended Ceilings: Sotea
Photography: © Michele D'Ottavio courtesy Studio AS Architetti Associati
Studio AS Architetti Associati
The Studio A.S. Architetti Associati practice, with architects Edoardo Astegiano, Renzo Conti and Federico Morgando, has been serving public and private clients for more than thirty years in Design and Works Management. Among its most significant works, the Practice has restored, recuperated and refurbished major historical buildings in Turin, including the “Palazzo Badini Confalonieri”, which now houses the Faculty of Psychology, the “Ex Vetrerie Berruto”, now home to the University Library, the “Scarampi”, “Colli di Fellizzano”, “Garagno”, “Lanza” and “Rattazzi” buildings, as well as completing the Executive Design for refurbishing the “Colonia Medail” (the Turin Olympic Village).
The Practice’s new-build residential projects include the “Mulino Indemini” at Mondovì, the Spina 3 residential complex in Turin, and a residential complex near Torre Lesna in Grugliasco.
School building work includes the complex (nursery/infant school) at Bazzano - AQ (2010-2011); extension and upgrades to the G. Rodari elementary school at Trofarello - TO (2010-2015); the school complex at Aulla - MS, consisting of a nursery school, infant school, elementary school, cafeteria and canteen (Lot I) and middle school (Lot II).
Services sector buildings include the Ferrero Research Center at Alba, a new home for Prima Industrie at Collegno, and a new building for Microntel in Turin.
Production-sector buildings include constructions in the Montepo’ area in the municipalities of Moncalieri and Trofarello, and two production complexes in India (one for Ferrero, another for Bauli).
The Practice’s flagship works also include the Mondovicino shopping center in Mondovì.