Chamber of Commerce Headquarters | The Plan
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Chamber of Commerce Headquarters

Mdu architetti

Europa | Prato

The new Chamber of Commerce headquarters in Prato, near Florence, successfully lives up to the specifications laid down in the 2006 competition - won by local practice MDU Architetti - namely to modernize an existing urban landmark with an innovative yet conservative programme, and to design a new complex whose public function would be immediately apparent.
The existing 1950s industrial-style building occupies an entire plot in a now consolidated urban district just outside the old town still largely surrounded by its 14th century city walls. The dense industrial and residential mix of this inner periphery speaks of Prato’s history as a major textile hub during the last century but now undergoing major change with the closing of several plants.
The drive to restore and renovate rather than demolish and re-build is a welcome sign of cultural maturity. Accordingly, the...

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