Located on the edge of the Cremona countryside, on the border between a residential area, a narrow strip affected by industrial buildings and the open countryside behind, the new headquarters of the Experimental Zooprophylactic Institute of Lombardia and Emilia-Romagna is a highly visible sign of IZS's commitment to providing suitable and adequate space for quality control of our food. Precisely because of its location, the building thus plays a fundamental role as a hinge between the residential area and the agricultural landscape. It can thus be a paradigm of an architecture that, although tertiary, manages to hold these two landscapes/contexts together. Quality architecture in a boundary zone between the urban center and the countryside has the added value of promoting building development related to the new urbanity of the place. This important semi-urban value, which inevitably imposes the new building on the attention of the community, links architecture and urbanism in a mutually complementary relationship. The architectural language designed for the new institute is rational and clean in geometric forms but characterized by the warm tones of the materials used. The building, organized on three levels above ground and one underground, consists of a single unitary building organism divided into two main elements: a major basement on the ground floor that manages the relationship with the surrounding spaces, and a smaller-sized volume developed on the two upper levels. The typological layout, because of the conformation of the lot, prefers a linear development. The focal point of the institute is the entrance: a large and bright triple-height atrium characterized by a skylight in the roof. A large deciduous tree already present in the area will act as a backdrop to the building's entrance. thanks to its frontal position in relation to the building, it will allow users to perceive nature and the changing seasons. The triple height symbolizes the idea of an institution physically open to its context, which with its "diffuse quality" sensitizes the user, stimulating a feeling of belonging as well as better results and performance. From the large atrium, it is possible to easily manage access thanks to the reception, which regulates three different types of entrances in one: user entrance, loading/unloading entrance, representative entrance and convention hall. For better functionality, a storage room was provided near the hall in order to make it more flexible with diversified use: sometimes convention hall, sometimes training or meeting room. The meeting/convention room can also be accessed from a dedicated entrance as needed. The distribution structure is extremely simple, following a linear scheme consisting of a central corridor of about 2.50 ml, and two blocks each 6.00 meters deep. The rooms are mainly laboratories and cold rooms, as well as some office space. On the second floor is located the employee meal room. This space overlooks a large terrace, a gathering space designed to improve the stay of operators and visitors to the building. The first and second floors of the building are used primarily for offices and laboratories. The laboratories are the result of a careful study that mediates factors of technology and spatial quality, resulting in spaces that are highly specialized but dominated by natural light so as to develop endorphins that can stimulate productivity. All spaces are flexible, remodeling as needed, and made with contemporary and natural materials. The offices are located close to the atrium, and thanks to a large interior window, they face it, capturing light and movement. The approach in the design of the new institute is aimed at reducing maintenance of both the building envelope and systems. All design choices are aimed at creating a building with a high degree of durability and low maintenance; in addition, the technological solutions adopted allow the achievement of high performance with low consumption. The building is in fact classified as NZEB - Nearly Zero Energy Building. The design includes the introduction of two types of cladding for the exterior envelope: The ground floor basement is clad in stoneware slabs while the first/second floor volume is clad in sheet metal panels with a ventilated facade system, alternating with vertical sunshades. To represent the commitment to stitching together city and country, in a fluid transition from agricultural area to peri-urban area to residential area, the shades selected are precisely those of rurality, of the earth, of the seasons to which then the building is intimately linked: precisely because of its role as guarantor of the quality of the food that is consumed daily on the tables, it is inextricably linked to the territory from which the products come.
Sardellini Marasca Architetti is an architectural firm based in Ancona, led by Anita Sardellini (founder), Andrea Marasca and Giorgio Marasca. Professionalism, experience, a deep bond with the territory and various awards acquired over the years: founded in 1970, the firm is a point of reference in the architecture and interior design sector. Always engaged in the pursuit of quality in architecture, the firm develops the design by engaging in giving shape and space to the client's expectations, ensuring the management and control of the overall cost of the work for both private and public works. Ours is an easily understandable architecture that, through careful synergy with the context, enhances and transforms it by creating new identities between built and nature. Simple, rigorous, silent buildings with pure shapes make the firm a point of reference for contemporary architecture in central Italy.
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