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d’Erba, Warehouse, Italy

Nature and Industry: The Fully Automatic Warehouse Fili d’Erba

The new warehouse, erected by Cino Zucchi for the Italian furniture brand Pedrali in the province of Bergamo, rises to a height of 29 metres and extends over an area of 7,000 square metres. The entire complex is accessed by a skytrain and eight remote-controlled shuttle buses. Inside the building, operations run 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Up to 16,880 palettes of finished and unfinished products are to be stored here. The design goal of this intervention in Mornico al Serio, located in the Po Basin near Bergamo, was to insert a mirror image of the landscape without interrupting its characteristic style.

With the new structure, the border between exterior and interior stands in the foreground. The opaque façade lies like a sort of drape around the machines inside, concealing these from the outer world. However, the machine’s dimensions ultimately determine the building. The building is surrounded by fields. The outer shells are clad with aluminum panels onto which linear aluminum profiles are attached. These are in three different nuances of green meant to represent grasses and stems. The building’s shell lies like a curtain around its interior. It refers to the surrounding nature. The two bodies of the project are connected; the southwest portion is accessible to visitors and follows the direction of a canal that abuts the lot to the west. The second volume has a daring overhang; moreover, the façade here is interrupted by a large expanse of glass. This allows a view of the interior of the building and of a green visitors’ catwalk that runs through the building.

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