Technopole Industrial Research

Memory and restoration for industrial research

"Recovering industrial architecture signifies establishing a relationship with the knowledge of meanings." With this sentence Andrea Oliva, designer of the restoration of Capannone inside the Ex Reggiane area of Reggio Emilia, talks about the relationship between “memory” and “meaning” in the frame of architectural interventions. 

The issue is quite debated in Italy, homeland of several industrial archeologies. How should an architect approach the restoration or preservation of buildings that represent much more than just an architectural typology?

"Research becomes THE tool for identification of possible future transformations of the building. We have to interpretate the ruins as a yard as we are in front of a building that reveals its own rules of composition and construction through its deterioration.”

Thanks to this project by architect Andrea Oliva, Capannone 19 became the first Technopole for Industrial Research sponsored by a grant from the region of Emilia Romagna. This impressive iron basilica (and the term “basilica” really denotes an aisles-based plant, even if from industrial origins) has been previously cleaned up from pollution and asbestos and then concerned by a structural consolidation and the replacement of the roof, which however still maintains a key role in the new compositional logic. The project included the addition of a fourth aisle, an asymmetric one, in order to properly follow the line of the roof. Andrea Oliva, the architect, speaks about “valorization of witness”. The base concept of the project is the theme of relationship; relationship between past and future, internal and external spaces, building and landscape, private and public.

READ ALSO: Algaetecture: create a greener architecture that can respond to the current state of global warming

Inside the Technopole is very easy to identify the functions of spaces. The laboratories are juxtaposed wood volumes overlooking a gallery dedicated to interdisciplinary activities. This wood volumes are energetically self-sufficient and assembled by hardwood vertical elements according to Platform Frame system, protected in the inside by a fire-resistant panel class REI60.

In short, a place to visit. An icon of the future and innovation.

The Technopole, project of 2010, won the first place in the Innovation and Urban Quality Award and received an honorable mention at the Domus Restoration and Conservation Award, edition 2013.

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