In 2009 Tetra Pak, commissioned this 1300 sqm Hub Centre dedicated to innovation and training to be built adjacent to their existing headquarter.
The project is located in the industrial area of the city of Modena, Italy. This is a region that embrace tradition, innovation and style and the project represents this. Example are the Ferrari and Lamborghini Factories and Offices. The intention was to represent Tradition, Innovation and Style whit a stunning yet functional contemporary architecture to expression the international image of the company and of its commitment to quality and innovation. The site was formerly agricultural. On the site there was a derelict farm type building with a strong feature – the so called ‘gelosia’ – this is a brick wall constructed in such a way that light and air can cross it. This is a typical partition in the vernacular architecture of northern Italy. This feature has been the inspiration for the desired feeling of privacy and of a thinking centre that the new building demanded, therefore
In the original design a wall made of bricks in a gelosia pattern encloses the perimeter of the project area on three sides, it leaves only the west side open where the connection with the Tetra Pak labs and general offices are located.
In 2012, during the construction, a major earthquake hit the region causing widespread damage. The gelosia-wall was not built yet. The willingness to carry on with the project was challenged by the New Seismic Regulations that didn’t allow for the gelosia-wall to be constructed anymore. In the new design, we substitute it with pillars made of reinforced concrete and finished with cocciopesto, a red-brick colour finish which is commonly used in this part of Italy. The building in the north edge of the site to maximise the green area and to give more space to perceive the overall of the building when approaching it. The building can be reached by foot and by golf cars.
The client required 3 distinctive functions: - private rooms for strategic meetings and training; - an open-space working area organized with desks; and - spaces for people working in an informal way.
We proposed to make the informal working area as the main feature of the building therefore the training rooms and the open-space working area are located at the core of the building so that the informal working area is placed in the surrounding ring, an evocative double-high space overlooking the park. The elliptical shape facilitates the circulation of information and of team-work and fosters a way of working that encourages communication and innovation meanwhile the inner core is of square and rectangular rooms, which are suitable for working in a more conventional way. We designed the approach to the building as an experience itself, shifting from wide prospective views to closer and narrow views. Pillars on the right hand side and glass façade on the left, are guiding the visitor towards the entrance, an impressive 11m high wooden door at the same time abstract and functional. The interior is an 8m high sinuous space for the informal working. It is an airy and calm environment overlooking the park, generous in natural light and serenity. The feed-back from client, employees and visitors has been overwhelming. The intention to create an environment of harmony between architecture and nature to enhance performance, lifestyle and wellbeing in the work space has been widely appreciated. The closing image is the pedestrian passage between the glass façade and the pillars - an intimate moment when approaching and leaving the building.