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Italcementi i.lab
Richard Meier & Partners

March 06, 2013 /

Bergamo, Italy

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Night view of Entry Plaza and precast roof
Photo courtesy of Scott Frances

By Eva Bjerring

Italcementi, one of the world's leading concrete developers and manufacturers, opened its doors to a new headquarter in 2012. With a self-cleaning concrete surface the Italcementi i.lab is an innovative demonstration of the possibilities of concrete and the most sustainable project from New York based Richard Meier & Partners. The i.lab has attained the LEED Platinum accreditations as one of the first in Italy.

True to the core product of Italcementi, the new headquarter is a powerful showcasing of various possibilities of concrete. The refined roughness of the concrete, the strong and yet transparent expression and the overall simple aesthetic of the building is an elegant architectural stroke.

Or you could turn that description around and you have a clear signature statement from the Richard Meier-office. An elegant composition of airy voids and solid, white elements stacked upon each other in a simple, clear design.

Stressed by a dominant V-shaped roof structure cutting through air and almost eliminating gravity the building is a strong underlining of Italcementi's position as the top five concrete manufactures globally dedicated to research and innovation in the world of concrete seeking out its technological and aesthetic possibilities.

An icon along the Red Kilometer Wall
Prominently positioned at the eastern end of the Kilometro Rosso Scientific Technology Park, popularly known as the Red Kilometer Wall, close to the highway in the outskirts of Bergamo, Italy, the Italcementi i.lab takes its plan after the triangular-shaped site folding its two building wings around a central courtyard.

Our key concept was to emphasize the presence of the i.lab along the highway, providing an iconic and dynamic termination to the Red Kilometer Wall. The "V" configuration allowed us not only to achieve these goals, but also to efficiently organize the program with a natural division and a large Atrium at the intersection./ Dukho Yeon, Associate Partner & Vivian Lee, Senior Associate

Self-cleaning sustainable concrete
A special designed high-strength reinforced, white concrete has been developed especially for the Italcementi i.lab. to break down pollution. As an extensive feature the concrete is self-cleaning, keeping the building all white year round.

This is our first collaboration of this nature where the client has assisted us with construction technology and materials. It was a great experience, because it allowed us to push the envelope and adopt innovative technologies such as high-resistance concrete mixtures, and achieving remarkable structural features such as precast concrete mullions, precast concrete louvers and roof shells that overhang up to 20 meters./ Dukho Yeon, Associate Partner & Vivian Lee, Senior Associate 

A benchmark in sustainability and workspace quality
Bike parking, green inner courts with native grass and plantings, natural ventilation and lightning, photovoltaic panels and collection of rainwater for irrigation and toilet flushing. All of the above are intelligent thought out initiatives to increase the work environment all the while limiting the overall impact on environment of the building.

Engineers, technicians and researchers from the Research & Development and Laboratories Departments of CTG, the Group Technical Centre, and from Italcementi's Innovation Direction have their daily routine here where large airy spaces ensure intelligent interrelation between people and functions in line with other high quality projects from the Richard Meier & Partners office.

The high-performance glass curtain walls showcasing the city of Bergamo leave a refined ease and transparency to the head quarter. This is an elegant contrast to the heaviness of the concrete lid on top of the building which leaves visitors both in and outside with that sense of quality and innovation, Italcementi is known for.

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View of Entry Plaza
Photo courtesy of Scott Frances

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North façade with prefabricated concrete screen
Photo courtesy of Scott Frances

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View of the Atrium from the glass ramp
Photo courtesy of Scott Frances

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North West elevation
Richard Meier sketch  

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Detail model
Copyright Jock Pottle

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Elevation East
Drawing courtesy Richard Meier & Partners

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Entry Level Floor Plan
Drawing courtesy Richard Meier & Partners

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Upper Level Floor Plan
Drawing courtesy Richard Meier & Partners

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Site Plan
Drawing courtesy Richard Meier & Partners

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Sustainability Diagram
Drawing courtesy Richard Meier & Partners

Facts about Italcementi i.lab

Floor Area:

23,000 m2

Architect:

Richard Meier & Partners

Design Principles: 

Richard Meier, Dukho Yeon

Project Architects:

Vivian Lee, Simone Ferracina

Client:

Italcementi Group

Completed:

2012

Associate Architect:

Studio Sonzogni
Studio Fiumana

Lighting Consultant:

Lighting Design Workshop
Rossi Bianchi Lighting Design

Structural Engineer:

Ing. Gennaro Guala, Italcementi CTG
Studio Marco Verdina

MEP Engineer:

Serving s.r.l

Major Materials:

White TX Active Concrete, Glass, Maple, Jet Mist stone

Last updated: December 19, 2013

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