Area 121 / Industrial building

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Architecture for industry

By virtue of its nature the industrial building is considered an essential part of the production cycle; in fact, it is one of the few building types whose value is measured more in terms of instrumental assets than of real estate. In particular, in large industry the construction of the building is based on logistic, distributive and volumetric requirements determined by the production, while the destiny and role of architecture are today directly linked to the value of the product itself as perceived by the market. In fact, the trend that seems to be changing the meaning of the building shell, as well as the way and characteristics with which the building interacts with the territory, follows the demands of a global competition that has made it necessary – especially in the industrial activities where familiarity with the brand and the corporate culture represents a transmissible added value – to mark a “visible” difference from the competition. And since communication become much more importance than in the past when it comes to sealing the success or failure of a certain consumer commodity, the places and methods of production have become part, on a par with design, comfort and packaging, of the circuit of the quality perceived by the user, thus contributing to orient the choices of the consumers. Due to this development a new importance has been attached, quite beyond the physical and qualitative consistency of the produced object or commodity, to the corporate philosophy, the respect for the workers and their working  and living conditions, the  safeguard of the environment  and the consumption of  energy and thus of resources,  the production of polluting  emissions, the overall image of  the company and the origin of  the raw materials. In this scenario the term “factory” appears too  simplistic and not sufficiently  exhaustive with respect  to the complexity of the  contemporary processes  and industrial realities. And  because producing means  to design, engineer, test,  assemble, construct, advertise,  exhibit and market a certain product, it would perhaps be  more appropriate to speak of industrial “campuses”, of multifunctional places that we know represent the essence and substance of a company. Places of which old anonymity  removes the necessity of  remaining, as underscored  in the introduction, chiefly  instrumental assets, in the  awareness that the instruments  have changed in the  contemporary global markets.

Marco Casamonti

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