Ivrea is a little city strongly marked by presence of the historical typewriters company, Olivetti: relationship between memory and nostalgia, authoritative past and a rather incoherent present is still an open issue. When the project team confronted with the request to widen and refurbish an old building in an anonymous and dis-harmonic outskirt of the city, it decided to face up to the challenge by providing an ironic and provocative answer, in opposition with the current conformism of local building approach. The building was to host commercial spaces on the ground floor, offices and residences on the upper ones. Critical location of the narrow site between railways and a busy street, via Torino, looks like a good chance to suggest a new landmark: to recreate identity. First issue is the connection to the road front. A path leads to the building through a first shot on the street: a bright red walkway runs amongst garden's grass, then suddenly acquires thickness and turns into a “chromatic 3D ribbon”. At the end, a sort of big eye serves as a belvedere, underlining the contrast between the typical Piedmont shyness of the existing building and the imaginary language of the new elements.
Details become from ongoing compromise with the customer construction company to try to introduce update technology into its established methods. The new extension of the building is a ceramic curtain wall with ventilated system, while the existing building is encapsulated with external insulation. Thought about sustainability is a wide conception of quality of living that involved all aspects, indoor and outdoor environmental quality, energy and atmosphere care with insulation and use of renewable energy as well as innovation in design.