Studio Monovolume recently undertook an expansion project for the Durst headquarters in Bressanone, Italy. A manufacturer of digital printing systems for industrial applications, the company employs more than 700 people, of whom 280 work in Bressanone. As a family-run firm with an eye firmly on the future, Durst was keen to build itself a brand new, modern headquarters to act as a kind of flagbearer for the company, inextricably associating its image with innovation. Inspired by a never-built Othmar Barth design for an initial plant, the designers at Monovolume reinterpreted the old company headquarters at Bressanone to give it a contemporary, leading-edge look that conveys the company’s mission to invest in technologies and the future.
Externally, the building visually conjures up the idea of a paper ribbon. Starting from a continuous base of see-through glass, the ribbon undulates as it lengthens and folds back in on itself, extending lengthways on its south-facing side and upwards to the North, where it culminates in a six-story tower. The architectural layout creates a multi-element setting in which dynamism and expressivity come together to combine past, present and future, incorporating a portion of the previously-existing company headquarters before reaching for the sky.
A multitude of squared-off openings runs the length of the ribbon, in some places thinned out, in others packed more closely together. These openings clearly evoke the pixel, the basic building block symbolically associated with the company’s business and its ability to leverage leading-edge technologies. Of varying dimensions, these openings are perforated into the powder-coated aluminum insulating panels that clad the laminated wood structure. Their high-impact effect is augmented by LED bulbs integrated into the jambs of the serried rows of windows. By night, the facade lights up to create a dynamic flow as the points of light run through multiple sequences, transforming the corporate architecture into a high-intensity focus of attention. Following its curvilinear progression, two hundred and fifty panels of insulating glass provide a continuous border between the building’s inside and outside.
The project re-engineered the site’s access network too: access to the manufacturing site was completely hived off from the staff and customer entrances. The entrances, a showroom, a cafeteria, amenities and a double-height space in the double-height lobby, which is characterized by an imposing flexible and articulated “ribbon”-like stairway, are all located on the building’s fully-glazed south-facing ground floor. Offices and meeting rooms in a variety of sizes are located on the upper floors, along with a relaxation area and kitchen looking over a hanging garden, an intimate space carved out between the new and pre-existing buildings. Management offices occupy the third and fourth floors, while the upper levels of the tower offer space for conferences, exhibitions and an auditorium.
Client: Durst Phototechnik
Gross Floor Area: 27,334 m2
Architects: monovolume architecture + design
Design Team: Federico Beckmann, Alessandro Sassi, Diego Preghenella, Giorgia Vernareccio, Barbara Waldboth
Structural: Kauer Ingenieure
Technical Systems: KTB Engineering Design Group, Von Lutz electrical and lighting projects
Façade: Hans Landmann
Façade: Frener & Reifer
Auditorium Fit Out: Barth
Ceramic Coverings: Marazzi
Photography: © Paolo Riolzi, courtesy Monovolume
monovolume architecture + design
The architecture office Monovolume has been working in the sector of architecture and design since 2003 piloting projects that go from urban design to interior design and furnishing. The architects met at the faculty of architecture at the University of Innsbruck where they have already collaborated and worked together on projects. The participation at several national contests has given them the opportunity to carry out a number of successful projects which laid the foundation stone of the actual teamwork and the beginning of the mutual professional activity.
Fields of activity: feasibility studies, strategy, concept, consulting, presentation sketches, drafting, submission schedule, completion and detail planning, visualization, construction management, tendering, project control, cost control, cost-effectiveness, Design, Interior Design, renewal concepts for villages and cities, outdoor installation design, town planning, development concepts, technical approvals, safety coordination. Branches: industrial and commercial buildings, structures for hotel and gastronomy, administration buildings, public administration, house building, bridge building and urban development.