Arpa Industriale is located in Bra in the Como province in northern Italy and specializes in producing FENIX NTM® and panels with HPL technology for interiors. Work was recently done on the company’s headquarters to revamp the façades and upgrade the energy performance. The design was completed in August 2014 by the VKA Progetti architecture practice working jointly with ArpaLab.
The 2,000 sq m office block was erected in the early 1980s and was marked by rather anonymous elevations made of concrete painted beige. The new look is more dynamic and innovative, showing off the company’s desire for a more easily identifiable, clear image. To achieve this, the team sought to make the façades more interesting through the use of color and composition. Instead of opting for a range of different colors, metallic grey was chosen as it created the desired material effect combining simplicity with aesthetic uniformity. This was then contrasted through the addition of variously shaped triangular panels to create a diamond effect. These were placed on the elevations in differing patterns to give a dynamic, 3D effect.
The end result is a ventilated façade that turns the complex into a single, but not monolithic structure, where the energy consumption has been cut by 22% for heating and by 49% for cooling, bringing about 62 MWh/year (35%) in savings.
Panels and a large black cornice were also used on four sides to break up the architectural bulk. The cornice is not uniformly around the top of the structure, but “lower” on two sides, marking out the meeting rooms and doubling as a sunscreen.
HPL panels from the Trespa® Meteon® line were selected. These panels have different patterns, divided into three collections (Metallics, Uni Colours and Lumen), and are produced using Electron Beam Curing technology developed in-house by the Dutch company Trespa International. Trespa® Meteon® panels can be used in numerous different designs in an array of colors, making them exceptionally versatile, especially as they can be used in combination with other materials. They are impact, pullout and compression resistant, and can withstand the elements and UV rays. Trespa® Meteon® panels have a global ten-year guarantee, require minimal maintenance and do not need painting or protective coating.