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Faeda headquarters

Heart of Glass

3ndy Studio

Faeda headquarters
By Luca Maria Francesco Fabris -

Today, evironmental sustainability has inevitably become our lodestar in every aspect of our lives. When it comes to architecture though, we are accustomed to considering environmental sustainability in self-centered terms, as if the architectural project itself were all that is needed to kickstart a virtuous process creating beneficial knock-on effects for everything it impacts. But it also works the other way around: the architectural design may have to fit into a complex sustainability-geared program and the built object stand as a statement of that new environmental awareness. Such a sustainability standard-bearer is all the more important when it concerns to an industrial sector, which although little known to the wider public, has gradually, step by step overhauled all its processing operations in order to meet and even exceed official sustainability requirements. This is the case of Faeda, one of the world’s leading leather tanning companies headquartered near Vicenza in northeast Italy. The tanning industry has always been a key source of pollution on account of its abundant use of water that on discharge found its way back to the water-table with heavy pigment loads - once natural but today synthetic. Faeda has turned things around, completing a sustainability program covering the full leather-tanning cycle, reducing the use of chemicals and treating waste water in two parallel plants before recycling it back into the production circuit. To mark this radical ten-year clean-up, in 2017 the company organized a private competition calling for tenders to build a new headquarters that would be a visible public statement of its environmental awareness and transparency.

The competition to build Faeda’s headquarters was won by architecture firm 3ndy Studio led by Marco Mazzetto, Alessandro Lazzari and Massimiliano Martignon. Based in the town of Vigonovo in Italy’s Veneto region, the design firm is known for its stylistic choices...

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