The Fantoni Group and Studio Valle Architetti Associati have a long, productive history, working together on developing and expanding the company and its plant in Osoppo, in the far northern Italian province of Udine. Over the years, the Group’s plant has grown steadily, resulting in the current “industrial campus” with multiple buildings tied together by a continuous, informal project. This creates a dialogue between the company’s past and present, between conservation and transformation, an interplay in which development has not followed a rigorous plan, but a precisely expressed underlying strategy. The Fantoni campus can only really be understood as a whole, with each successive addition altering the perception in a process of constant development that has always been respectful of the complex’s past, but also allowed each building to be continually viewed in a new light. The common denominator lies in the use of easily identifiable, primary geometric forms for the buildings, which are then given a different external appearance using metallic industrial cladding to dematerialize the edges of the structures. The latest addition is the building for manufacturing Plaxil 8 Medium Density Fiberboard - or MDF - panels, replacing the previous structure where the Plaxil 4 and Plaxil 5 lines were made. Once again, the new building adopts the same criteria to merge it into the rest of the campus. The 300 m-long building covers 3,500 sq m, with a single 28-m span built with a steel roof truss that rises 14.5 m above the ground on average, but soars to 50 m in the western section. The machinery forms part of the load-bearing structure such that the “container and content” are molded together. The extended parallelepiped shape, rising at one end to sustain the press, is marked by the linear use of four different types of cladding: expanded mesh, ribbed metal sandwich panels, and smooth and profiled precast concrete panels. On the northern elevation, a striped texture is especially evident, emphasized by small concrete cubes projecting from the walls to protect the emergency exits. On the southern elevation, the use of metal tubes creates a more dynamic feel, with straight and curved lines. The double pitch roof seems almost flat and is clad with metal panels that lead up to the press tower, a trapezoid marked by wire mesh cladding through which the inner structure can be made out. The building merges shape and cladding to play with surfaces and perspectives, conveying the sense of a constantly changing industrial landscape.
Via Europa Unita, 1 - I - 33010 Osoppo (UD)
Tel. +39 0432 9761
E-mail: [email protected] - www.fantoni.it