The new Bonfiglioli Headquarters, located in the outskirts of Bologna, Italy, arises from the need to create an efficient and functional office building that expresses the professionalism, innovation, and proud history of the Italian company. Bonfiglioli is a global leader in the design, production, and distribution of a full range of gearmotors, drive systems, planetary gearboxes, and inverters, handling the most complex demands in industrial automation, mobile machinery, and renewable energy.
The headquarter is the last missing piece in a larger development called EVO, which is the Group’s largest industrial site in Italy. EVO is designed to satisfy the most recent energy efficiency standards, offering outstanding performance in terms of environmental impact, powered by a 3 MW peak power photovoltaic plant, mounted not only on the existing new plant roofs but also on the awnings of the staff car park. The new HQ are planned as NZEB (nearly Zero Energy Building) and features geothermal heat pumps and radiant ceilings to further save energy and obtain additional internal comfort. The new headquarters is a recognizable landmark that both rises above and integrates itself with the surroundings. With a radical approach towards sustainability with an intelligent geometry.
The starting point of the design was to introduce the courtyard typology of the existent masterplan buildings into our massing. The courtyard has a green garden on the ground floor and creates natural ventilation (cross ventilation with chimney effect). As a reaction to the local sunlight conditions, by sloping the building’s roof, the North facing façade is enlarged to maximize the workspaces with indirect natural light conditions. At the same time, this reduces the South facing façade, which improves internal comfort. It is almost a celebration of the indirect north light expressed by the geometry of the building.
South facing façades and roof of the headquarter feature a second skin made of a continuous pleaded custom-made aluminum mesh. The second skin filters the harsh light to obtain a comfortable interior work environment while recalling the metal shavings that are produced daily as a byproduct of the company supply chain.
Internally, the departments have been distributed onto the various levels in accordance with their degree of relationship with the public and with the functions present in the nearby buildings. To increase the connectivity between the departments and the people working in them, the largest departments are divided into two levels, internally connected with a spiral staircase through a generous double-height space.
To future proof, the building allows total internal flexibility and column-free spaces by bringing the load-bearing structure out onto the façade. The load-bearing structure is expressed as a steel exoskeleton, highlighting its technical and industrial character while accentuating its verticality. This envelope becomes then the roof, which is almost a fifth façade.
The Bonfiglioli Headquarters is an exemplary project in terms of sustainability and environmental design. The elements that constitute its DNA are: The low-carbon design, achieving self-sufficiency of the building in terms of energy. The great attention to health wellbeing in this post-pandemic era. And, the application of the circular economy principles to maintain the building capacity to be adapted in the future in the needs of the client.