La Fabbrica del Futuro: Interview with the Architects
Imagine a world in which factories are no longer just places of production, but real technological ecosystems capable of reinventing industry itself. This is precisely the beating heart of the ‘La Fabbrica del Futuro’, located at Brescia’s Parco dell’Acqua, an unmissable opportunity to see thirty of the best practices that Brescian companies are adopting for a model of the factory of the future.
A fascinating and revolutionary concept that has taken shape thanks to the creative minds of the ARW Botticini + Facchinelli studio based in Milan and Brescia. In an exclusive interview with Polypiù, we discover the details of this extraordinary project, commissioned by Confindustria
Interview with architects Camillo Botticini and Matteo Facchinelli
POLYPIU’: What were the main challenges in conceiving and designing a building such as La Fabbrica del Futuro?
ARCH. BOTTICINI: The first challenge was to approach the traditional archetype of factories and the canons of industrial architecture. We took the bold decision to use polycarbonate in an innovative way, not only for the façades, but also for the roofs. This choice, besides being revolutionary from an aesthetic point of view, represents a technical challenge.
The project wants to define a building that is simultaneously linked to the territory in which it is located, and to a sort of ideal ‘factory of the future’.
This process is achieved by recovering the memory and shape of the sheds, which are also present in the adjacent building, but also by creating a translucent, almost immaterial architecture to symbolise contemporary production made of increasingly light and sustainable goods.
Another central element is the construction made with an “off-site” wooden structure and recycled polycarbonate. The architecture is therefore demountable and reassemblable.
A central aspect is the light, which during the day spreads evenly throughout the interior and at night transforms the volume into a sort of magic lantern.
ARCH. FACCHINELLI: Indeed, as my colleague mentioned, the shape of the archetypal industrial building inspired the juxtaposition of modules, giving the pavilion a sense of grandeur. All these aspects were carefully studied, trying to maintain a delicate balance between the familiarity of an architecture reminiscent of the past and the ability to surprise and stand out from the contemporary standard.
POLYPIU’: How did you design the space to promote collaboration and innovation between the different exhibiting companies? Was there a link between them, did you conduct a study?
ARCH BOTTICINI: The companies had already developed their own format, guided by a dedicated scientific curator who took care of organising the content. As the companies’ projects were very diverse, each representing its own specific research area, our aim was to integrate them and relate them through appropriate display elements.
The use of opal-coloured polycarbonate made it possible to create a system that could connect the different elements, creating a neutral space.
ARCH. FACCHINELLI: Polycarbonate is an elegant material that offers a uniform perception of light throughout the space, and this was an added value for the exhibition.
POLYPIU’: What are the main sustainable materials and technologies used in the construction of the factory of the future?
ARCH. BOTTICINI: The building is entirely constructed with sustainable materials. On the one hand, it is characterised by a wooden lattice structure, which offers significant advantages, such as the possibility of disassembling and reassembling components and complete recyclability. As for the polycarbonate, we made a specific request to Polypiu to use a plastic material that was already recycled and at the same time easily recyclable. Therefore, in terms of materials, we mainly focused on two elements: wood and polycarbonate, both of which are inherently sustainable. This choice promotes the idea of a circular economy, which is one of the fundamental pillars of the factory of the future.
POLYPIU’: The next question is a clarification of your choice to use polycarbonate. What motivations prompted you to opt for this material? And also, could you share your experience with Polypiù?
ARCH. FACCHINELLI: Our experience with Polypiù was truly exceptional, especially considering the very tight delivery time. The decision to use a dry wooden structure was a key response to our requirements in terms of sustainability.
As for polycarbonate, it was a material we were already familiar with, as we had previously worked with it. It seemed to us to be the best choice to achieve the goals we had set ourselves, both economically and in terms of assembly speed. In addition, polycarbonate proved to be highly sustainable.
In the end, the choice of polycarbonate gave the structure a refined look due to its lightness and versatility