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Molino Casillo’s Headquarters

Alvisi Kirimoto + Partners

Molino Casillo’s Headquarters
By Francesco Pagliari -

Grain trader Molino Casillo’s new headquarters in the industrial district of Corato, near Bari in southern Italy, stands close to the company’s huge silos, a physical and figurative landmark signalling the firm’s presence and what it does. With two above- and two belowground levels, the new programme is posited on a strict geometrical, functional plan. The aboveground floors are occupied by offices; the first belowground level houses more offices and the archives, while the second underground level is for vehicle parking. Everything about this parallelepiped building emphasizes its horizontal development: elegant outer façades of large glazed lights, windows shielded by tall narrow orange-painted perforated metal shutters, white plastered walls and aluminium panel cladding.
The iterative geometrical pattern of the façades is both functional and decorative, taking its cue from the traditional geometries of the surrounding farmland. Windows are placed in correspondence with offices and meeting rooms positioned around the perimeter of the building. Depending on whether open or closed, the operable metal sunshades change the appearance of the elevations. The ground floor is raised 1.50 m from the actual ground level to meet the requirement of having the vehicle-weighing control room on a level with the driver cab of incoming and outgoing trucks. The pedestrian entrance is reached by two gently graded ramps.
The building is developed around a sunken inner court. Paved and planted with tall trees, it allows ventilation and natural light to penetrate the three office floors. It also serves as a patio for the occupants of the first belowground environments thanks to operable glazed openings.
Inside, two flights of metal-frame stairs with timber treads reinforce the sense of open, airy spaciousness both horizontally - with through-views on every side - but also vertically, in keeping with the deep inner court and...

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