On the 10th of June, theRenzo Piano Foundation selected the project Domus Technica: the new Immmergas Center for Advanced Training byIotti + Pavarani Architettias the winner of the first edition of the prize, promoted by the Italian Association of Architecture and Criticism (AIAC) and chaired by Luigi Prestinenza Puglisi, which is awarded to up-and-coming architects under 40. Approximately seventy applications from all over Italy were examined, and evaluated by a single judge, who is one of the greatest professionals in the field: Renzo Piano.
Domus Technica, the new Immmergas Center for Advanced Training for the Immergas Company was completed in 2010 in the city of Brescello. Immergas has extended its research and production fields to new generation technologies in regards to the exploitation of renewable resources (solar thermal, photovoltaic, and heat pumps). The project was conceived as a“laboratory” containing teaching rooms and showrooms where technicians and professionals are trained and updated in both the installation and implementation of these technologies as well as emerging processes related to this type of research.
The building is divided into two levels. The main one, on the ground floor, contains a spacious atrium that opens to the surrounding landscape, four showrooms (dedicated to high power, new technologies, solar power and photovoltaic systems) and a central technological showroom (space dedicated to‘energy storage’, set in the centre as the heart of the machine“Domus Technica”). On the top level, a meeting hall opens towards a terrace; the“artificial landscape” constructed with alternating paved surfaces, green surfaces and tilted glazed surfaces that support the solar and photovoltaic panels.
The upper body of the building sits on a“heavy base” that roots it to the ground. It performs like a translucent compact volume inspired by the industrial vocations of the region. At the same time it tries to renew the area’s appearance by creating a more refined an evocative image of what is considered a“technical place”. The effects of the facade, created by light and weather conditions based on the time of day or the seasons, change the character of the Uglass finish which appears to have a transparent and diaphanous nature at times or viceversa, a solid and monochromatic nature at others. In the evenings, a lighting system is powered entirely by the energy produced from the photovoltaic panels and transforms the building into a body of light.
The building, designed as a“Class A” certified structure, is self-sufficient. The equipment installed in the four ground floor showrooms produce, using various technologies, primary cold and hot fluids that have been completely recovered, stored and reutilized to meet the energy requirements of the building as well as those of the pre-existing office structure.
* Images courtesy of Iotti + Pavarani Architetti.