Newwave Media srl

New headquarters of “Manutencoop” in Venice

New headquarters of "Manutencoop" in Venice

Location
Venice - Mestre (VE), Italy

Client
Manutencoop Facility Management s.p.a.

Year
2005 - 2007

Amount of works
€ 1.700.000

Awards
Selected to participate in the XII International Architecture Biennial of Buenos Aires - 2009.

The work consisted of the radical restructuring of the former operational headquarters of the state telephone company (SIP), built in the outskirts of Mestre in the early 1970s, and now destined to be the headquarters for the Northeast of the multi-utility company “Manutencoop”. The idea initially appeared to be one of the simplest: to create an office building in a structure that was previously built for this purpose, for which, for reasons of urban planning opportunities, no expansion volume was permitted.

The Client, in line with its entrepreneurial vocation, had provided some general principles to be followed for the drafting of the design: a modern architectural system, suitably comfortable environments for the personnel and guests of the building, reduced environmental impact in “architectural” terms and in terms of “consumption”, ease and practicality in the maintenance and management of the architectural and plant engineering“machine”: in other words, using a commonly used term, a sustainable building.

Handling the design for the “Manutencoop” headquarters in Mestre meant tackling the issue of the reuse of “young” buildings, namely those that were built in the past half century. An increasingly topical design theme in an urban environment, in relation to the need to make up for the non-existence of new areas that can be built on in the face of the availability in the territory of already existing and already abandoned

buildings that are offered the opportunity to quickly change their role and appearance as new activities take over. The interior design was facilitated by the fact that the building had previously housed offices and, therefore, provided a good basis for the reorganisation of the spaces.

Activities
  • Preliminary design
  • Detailed design
  • Final design
  • Health and Safety for design and construction
  • Construction Management

The main challenge, instead, was to address the outside of the building, with the constraint given by the volume of the systems, which could not be modified and which needed, in some way, to be improved. In the end, the solution developed was to give a different look to the building with the creation of a new “skin”, and assigning the cladding material with the task of interpreting and transmitting the meaning of this transformation. For this reason, a “technological” titanium-zinc laminate coating was chosen, laid in horizontal slats, alternating with some areas maintained in white plaster. This made it possible to obtain a remarkably impressive geometrical effect, reproducing a fluid succession of horizontal elements interrupted only at the ribbon windows and plaster walls – with which it interacts, creating graphic patterns with a rationalist flavour. Through the folding of an external wall, the white colour enters the entrance area and characterises the lobby in the continuity between exterior and interior.

The technical compartment on the roof, which houses the various systems, was integrated into the main façade, highlighting the entrance on the ground floor and introducing a strong three-dimensional component.

To avoid direct sunlight, glare and reflections, and for energy reasons due to the overheating of the rooms, a natural light control system was introduced with the use of adjustable sunshades, coated with zinc-titanium. The interiors are heated and cooled with a geothermal probe system and the aid of a heat pump exchanger, which provide significant energy savings with the use of natural resources.

This work has been selected to participate in the “XII International Architecture Biennial of Buenos Aires: Veneto40 Young architects put to the test” – October 2009.

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