Plaxil 8 by Studio Valle Architetti Associati
Architects & Firms
Within a pristine alpine setting in northeastern Italy, a new factory building—marked by a gleaming tangle of metallic pipes, scaffolding, and chimneys that run through it—is the most recent addition to the sprawling industrial complex of office-systems manufacturer Fantoni. Nearly 1,000 feet long and 160 feet high, the plant, designed by Udine- and Milan-based Studio Valle Architetti Associati, replaces outdated facilities and holds Europe’s largest press for medium density fiberboard (MDF) production. An exposed load-bearing metal frame supports a base building clad in corrugated precast concrete as well as the various mechanical structures, which are placed at different heights. “We knew the architecture could not compete with the machinery,” says principal Pietro Valle, “so we designed the building to serve as its backdrop.” The addition joins over two dozen other metal-clad buildings on the campus designed by Pietro’s father, Gino, between 1972 and 2001. The new structure, says the younger Valle, sits “like a cathedral” amid its surroundings.