Manifattura Tabacchi is an historical industrial area in Florence designed by Pierluigi Nervi in the 1930s. As part of this conservation project, Piuarch was commissioned to renovate and design 4 buildings grouping different uses – student residence, housing, offices – for a total of 75,000 square metres of built area. The purpose of the project is to maintain the uniqueness of the site, while at the same time imposing a recognisable, avant-garde and people-friendly idea of architecture.
Shapes, materials and architectural typology features characteristic of the original complex are incorporated into the new design, in a coherent and logical manner. The open area onto which all the buildings face is designed to be pedestrian-friendly and to accommodate alternative means of mobility, from bicycles to car sharing to zero-emission public transport.
The new office building features the typical compositional and stylistic characteristics of the existing industrial buildings, reinforcing the overall nature of the area. Articulated in 7 levels intended solely for office use, with the exception of a commercial area on the ground floor, the entire building is designed to be divided between different tenants. The lobbies on the ground and first floors are communal, as are the terraces on different levels. Continuous glazed façades ensure formal unity for the south, west and north sides, while the east side offers a compact design, characterised by a constant alternating scansion of solid cast concrete modules and transparent modules.