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Research Center “Laboratorium”

a matter of Rhythm

EFA studio di architettura

As an important boiler manufacturer at the cutting edge of research and new technological applications especially in renewable energy and allied sectors, the client found it only natural to engage an architecture practice like EFA (acronym for Esperienze Forme Architettura), also at the cutting edge of architectural research, to design its new research and experimentation center called the Laboratorium. In fact, the company has a history of similar partnerships with forward-thinking firms, its advanced training sector, Domus Technica, being built by the Iotti + Pavarani practice. Founded 55 years ago, the company has maintained close links with the community from which it springs, as was evident in 2017 when the nearby River Enza burst its banks, flooding the industrial district and halting work on the Laboratorium. A manufacturing plant must respond to the operational needs of the activity carried on inside, its layout a function of these requirements and the particular site. Yet while components have to be essential parts of a rationally organized system, they should also have a broader architectural and more abstract significance. The Laboratorium succeeds on both counts. Its pure logical forms and layout meet the company’s functional demands. At the same time, the regular alignment of the façades reflects the exacting precision required of the work going on inside, embodying the essence of the company’s identity as a top-end research and development facility with a strategy of continuous innovation. The expressive rational program also meets another brief specification: to provide worker livability standards on a par with those enjoyed in a home. The building is therefore an amalgam of modifications and transformations within a contemporary architectural framework that however does not discard its historical roots. This architecture is also the latest addition to an already “stratified” industrial site, which like any urban...

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