Biofarma Group Headquarters: Sustainable development and state-of-the-art materials
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Biofarma Group Headquarters: Sustainable development and state-of-the-art materials

The Biofarma Group Headquarters is the focus of the “Special Issue for Elysium,” included with THE PLAN 132

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Biofarma Group Headquarters: Sustainable development and state-of-the-art materials
By Editorial Staff -
Elysium has participated in the project

In Italy, agricultural and industrial areas often co-exist, sometimes against a backdrop of landscapes with a regular design whose roots go back to Ancient Roman Times. In such landscapes, the dialogue with productive architecture is often difficult, laborious and unresolved. The countryside surrounding Mereto di Tomba, in the province of Udine, is home to the Biofarma Group manufacturing and administrative complex. A leading company in the Health & Beauty Care sector, the Group’s corporate policy is led by innovation, excellence and environmental sustainability, as is evident from the company’s choice to redevelop its production site, which in recent years has undergone a two-pronged expansion, in a design by the AK Engineering firm: “Tower B”, a wooden-structured building for offices and representative areas within the existing headquarters perimeter, and the “Castelliere industriale” project, a manufacturing extension on the opposite side of the main road, its name recalling the proto-historical fortified villages common across Istria and Friuli-Venezia Giulia.

special supplement with issue 132 of THE PLAN is dedicated to the Biofarma Group Headquarters. It looks at the project in general, with a focus on the Elysium system cladding, used for the construction building facades.

>>> Browse the Special Issue for Elysium 


The Project

This modern-day fortification is separated from the main road and the agricultural expanses behind it by a series of embankments. The design did not set out to be mimetic, but rather to establish dialogue with the landscape through clean, rigorous architecture: a horizontal volume fragmented and cadenced by vertical partitions, a compact and at the same time dynamic bastion that alternately unleashes opacity, transparency and translucency.

The Elysium system cladding is the design’s unifying element, here in an anthracite grey finish. Alternating with polycarbonate bands and brise-soleils, the steel plates generate a rhythm for the façades’ opaque surfaces on a variety of volumes. One block entirely clad in polycarbonate, serving as a break in this material continuity, generates strong iridescent effects at certain times of day and in certain weather conditions. At the head of the complex, the glazed office volume offers a further element of transparency, helping to “light up” the production complex at nightfall in an evocative interplay of light and shadow.

Spanning three floors, Tower B houses an ample reception hall and, on its upper floors, offices, meeting rooms, a managerial area with a conference room, and a garden terrace that opens out onto the landscape. Connecting to the pre-built structure via a glass tunnel, the building alternates curved and rectilinear surfaces, opaque coverings - again, Elysium in anthracite - and large, fully-glazed walls. The building is sustainable and complies with the principles of circular economy: it uses a prefabricated construction system in PEFC-certified spruce that is particularly quick to assemble, significantly reducing site impact in terms of time and interference with business - indeed, business never needed to be suspended during construction. In addition, the Elysium system’s vegetable oil-based paint significantly reduces the environmental footprint; at the same time, it offers long-lasting performance.


Location: Mereto di Tomba, Udine, Italy
Completion Date: 2020
Project: AK engineering
Designers: Valter Bertossi, Franco Bertossi


Construction Drawings and Façade Engineering: Fabris
Design of Electrical and Mechanical Plants: SB Engineering
Impianti speciali/Special Plant and Equipment: Blue Digit


Metal Façade Cladding: Elysium
Modular Polycarbonate Sheet Cladding: Dott. Gallina
Zinc-Titanium Sheet Metal Production: VMZinc
Isolamento/Insulation: Isover Saint-Gobain

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