Situated on the very edges of our urban centers and usually surrounded by agricultural land, many factories and businesses - often housed in technically efficient, well-planned but architecturally non-descript buildings - have great potential in terms of experimental design projects.
Renovating, extending and updating the technology of an existing production plant is a major challenge for both architects and their clients. As well as a means for a company to project a positive contemporary image, investing in quality architecture often also reflects a keen focus on ensuring quality working environments, as well as concern that the plant or factory fit into its urban or rural context.
The many varied industries and businesses located on the southern outskirts of the town of Oderzo in Italy’s north-east Veneto region are part of a consolidated manufacturing district that sits comfortably amid extensive agricultural land. One of the companies, the multinational Nice, leader in the Home Automation, Home Security and Smart Home sectors, has for several years now been engaged in plant renewal with the help of architect Carlo Dal Bo. The result has been the company headquarters, the Gate Focus Factory (its manufacturing unit), and the TheNicePlace, the social, training and meeting hub involving all company stakeholders. Further extension of the manufacturing plant is planned for the future with a new Research & Development Center.
The architect and project were chosen by competition. Organized in partnership with The Plan, the Space for Nice Ideas contest was conducted in two stages: a first, anonymous and open call for tenders from Italian designers under 40, and a second round reserved for the winner of the first phase in competition with three world-famous practices invited by Nice.
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