The need to create a new Paolo Castelli Headquarters was the result of the continuing growth of the firm in recent years, during which the company achieved major milestones, bucking the general international economic trend. A headquarters is a company’s home, the center of its operations and corporate communication. For a firm like Paolo Castelli, a leader in the field of general contracting, the creation of a new headquarters also represented an opportunity to reorganize its professional capabilities and orient them towards an ambitious project that would strengthen the company’s brand identity. The tremendous commitment and enthusiasm that characterized the company’s work to create it have been amply rewarded by the excellence of the results.The architecture for the new headquarters was designed by Studio Cervellati. The fruitful collaboration between the Cervellati professionals and the Castelli staff was one of the factors critical to the success of the project.The project involved the recovery and redevelopment of a disused industrial facility that was built in the late 1960s to house textile manufacturing operations and later underwent a number of expansions. It is part of a general revitalization project of an industrial district that now features some of the big names in the Bolognese business community.
The salient characteristic of the facility is the curving roofs of the buildings, which are laid out in a complex arrangement of volumes enclosing an internal courtyard. Their new use as a showroom and offices for the Paolo Castelli company demanded a profound transformation of the spaces. The industrial features of the building were preserved and valorized with an emphasis on the huge interior spaces flooded with natural light.The challenge was to create interiors that would reveal and emphasize the productive characteristics of the former manufacturing site while also creating suggestive contrasts among its industrial fittings. For example, the resin floors found in some areas, the curved contours of the roofs on the cement buildings, and the fully visible ventilation systems create a harmonious juxtaposition of contrasting elements with the natural oak and glass partitions and the wooden floors in the offices.In addition to the aesthetic goals, the need to create a comfortable and stimulating working environment was a strong focus of the design and execution phases.The project pivots around the large “Piazza”, a modern open space accommodating the company operations units.
The work spaces are laid out around a large, central, oak-paneled auditorium, reproducing the concept of a “home within the house”. Oswald Mathias Ungers’ idea of “elemental Platonic buildings within elemental Platonic buildings” represents an important contribution to architectural theory. The German architect and theorist developed this concept in the mid-1980s in his design for the German Architecture Museum in Frankfurt. This exemplary work has come to stand as a paradigm for the modernization of existing buildings to create a sort of ars combinatoria, i.e. the ability to symbolize concepts by means of geometrical elements.The auditorium is outfitted for presentations and conferences. Completing the headquarters are prestigious executive offices in wood and glass, the refined yet hospitable showroom to feature all the new items that continue to enliven our collections, and the elegant inner courtyard framed by the building units.
Special mention is merited by the suspended volume faced in red Alucobond and bearing the company logo: while marking and sheltering the main entrance, it also exerts a visual pull for the entire external area, consolidating the company’s brand identity. It is a huge external business card in elegant harmony with its environment, one that will certainly not pass unnoticed, making it easy for visitors to find their way to the headquarters.