The region of Udine in north-eastern Italy is known for its historic buildings, good food, and laid-back atmosphere rather than for modern structures and industrial architecture. This might change with the inauguration of the second building at Practic headquarters.
Along the provincial highway from Udine to Spilimbergo, the solar shading systems firm Practic set up their production and main buildings. The first that was built in 2011 is a stark, solid structure that seems to have risen out of the ground with black marble and dark cement elements that feel rooted.
The second building that was just finalized in 2018 is quite the opposite. Although the same architects and designers GEZA Gri e Zucchi Architettura srl, the typological plant has an airy, light feeling to it with four-centimeter-thick polycarbonate panels that are about ten meters high and fixed to prefabricated concrete structures.
Depending on the time and light of day, the reflection creates an interesting dialogue with the surrounding rural landscape, the sky, and the ground. It seems that the combination of the two industrial buildings and the ensuing open space of parking play hide and seek with the earth and the sky, the lights and the shadows.
The architectural design is an interplay between the interior and the exterior that is a strong trend in the architectural world of 2019. The 9,000 square-meter production plant is much more than that. It houses headquarters with offices, a showroom, research and innovation facilities, and laboratories.
The rectangular building has space for wellness facilities for employees and the exterior with its fascinating façade seems to continue and dissolve into the sky in the distance. The light intensity plays tricks with the beholders and lets the buildings appear in gold, metallic, opaque, glossy, or shiny black.
While it is not comparable to churches from the 13th century, the new industrial architecture sets a new landmark in the Udine landscape and and intrigues with its simplicity, reflection, and clarity.
If you can’t get enough of Italy, check out our latest posts on the Milan Design Week: Milan Design Week 2019, Fuorisalone impressions, Salone del Mobile, Fuorisalone lights, The Manzoni, Kohler at Palazzo del Senato, Fuorisalone wrap-up, Patterns as Time.
Source: some photos are courtesy of v2com, photographs are by Javier Callejas, and Fernando Guerra FG+SG.