Prominently positioned at the eastern edge of the Kilometro Rosso Scientific Technology Park in Bergamo, the Italcementi ITCLab is intended to be an iconic building expressing the factory’s position of leadership and commitment to research and innovation in the use of concrete and reflecting its celebrated reputation for technical expertise. The structure is a benchmark in sustainable design, seeking to attain the first LEED platinum accreditation in Europe.
The new building reinforces the boundaries of the triangular site and incorporates a program of technical and administrative spaces into two wings. Comprising two levels above grade and two basement levels including parking, the V-shaped configuration houses separate laboratory and administrative wings surrounding a central courtyard, which features a garden and provides service and underground parking access. Below-grade courtyards at the perimeter provide natural light to basement-level laboratory spaces and fresh air for the mechanical spaces and the garage.
At the northwest corner of the building, which is also the terminating corner of the scientific park, a large covered public plaza forms the main entrance leading to a two-storey skylit atrium. The central atrium houses public reception as well as security control and provides circulation spaces for both of the structure’s wings via two glass elevators and a dramatic ramp, both skylit and featuring views of Bergamo through the atrium’s double height glass walls.
The cantilevered and floating concrete roof of the ITCLab creates a strong and elegant profile. In addition to the large skylights in the public spaces, the roof forms a virtual fifth façade perforated with a system of skylights directing natural light into offices, circulation corridors and laboratory spaces. Natural light filters through the top floor into the interior spaces, providing illumination that changes throughout over the distinctive curtain wall – composed of concrete elements developed by Italcementi specifically for this structure, visual frit and clear glass –animates the façade.