This project reflects the “DNA” of the company: tradition, innovation and sustainability. The building celebrates the 150th anniversary of the Bergamo company with innovative construction techniques, materials, daylight and an apparent simplicity that challenges the traditional types of laboratory and office. Italcementi’s “iLab” Research and Innovation Centre, designed by American architect Richard Meier, Pritzker Prize winner in 1984, is located inside the Kilometro Rosso Science and Technology Park and occupies 23 thousand square metres.
The V-shaped building reinforces the boundaries of the triangular site and incorporates a programme of technical and administrative spaces in two wings surrounding a central courtyard. For this project, Italcementi has developed an innovative mix of high-strength reinforced concrete that reduces pollution: this new material is used for the outer skin facing the motorway, the north screen, the mullioned window system of the curtain wall and the prefabricated wall and roof elements of the entire building.
Articulated on two floors above ground and three underground levels, made of white cement, characterised by a system of windows creating a contrasting effect between the solidity of the cement and the lightness of the glass, it has a structure with two wings side by side on a central courtyard. The first wing, parallel to the motorway, houses laboratories and offices, while the second houses a large conference hall and reception areas.
The lighting design by architect Piero Castiglioni paid particular attention to energy consumption and low maintenance costs, determining the choice of the lamps used: high efficiency, long-lasting sources with adequate technical and photometric quality characteristics of the light radiation emitted, according to the visual requirements of the different uses of the rooms. The positioning and installation methods have made it possible to create solutions integrated with the architectural elements, consistent with the compositional rhythm of the spaces and coordinated with the system requirements.
The project was awarded LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), the highest international standard of energy and environmental certification. Other projects that have obtained the GOLD LEED certification, to which Piero Castiglioni has collaborated as lighting designer, are the Muse by Renzo Piano and the Garibaldi – Porta Nuova Complex.
Richard Meier Architects
Orsay Museum where architecture became a big lighting device, the reflections of light bulbs with walls and ceilings create a uniform light without shadows. Groups of projectors in Grassi Palace recall a small football field. Here was born a new type of lighting device. Reflector lamps and articulated support gives life at the "Cestello". Spasa na Krovi is a perfection of Mantova project. Light beams aggregation allow the device size reduction and the dispersion light control.