BLA: a new cultural centre opened in Fiorano Modenese
On 1 October 2011, Fiorano Modenese, a town of 17,000 inhabitants located about twenty kilometres from Modena, celebrated the opening of a new multifunctional cultural centre designed to house the library, the children’s play centre and the municipal archives — all of which were previously located in different areas of the town in buildings that lacked space and were badly in need of maintenance. The official opening of the centre marked the conclusion of a process that extended over a five-year period, ever since 2006 when the idea was first put forward to create a single building to house the library (originally set up in 1963 and now named after local journalist Paolo Monelli), the Barone Rosso children’s play centre opened in October 1981, and the municipality’s historical archives. For this purpose, the town council launched a competition to award the design and works supervision of the new structure which was to be built in Via Silvio Pellico, not far from the town hall. The competition was won by a Turin-based group of companies led by the practice Buonomo Veglia, which together with Area Progetti oversaw the architectural and structural aspects of the project.
Built at a cost of just over 3 million euro financed entirely by the publicly-owned company Fiorano Gestioni Patrimoniali, the multifunctional centre has a space of 1,700 square metres in a structure consisting of two intersecting parallelepiped-shaped units of different heights. Inside this structure were created spaces capable of meeting the requests of the town council, particularly the unification of the services and the consequent optimisation of the spaces, functions and personnel. The guidelines underpinning the architects’ work include clarity of volumes and forms, simplification of the construction elements, modularity, industrialisation of the production process and use of locally produced materials (together with the neighbouring town of Sassuolo, Fiorano lies at the heart of the Emilia-Romagna region’s ceramic cluster, renowned worldwide above all for its tile production). The complex is supported by a dry structure consisting of a double series of V-shaped and single metal pillars of different heights and corrugated steel sheet floors installed on steel lattice girders and distributed over three levels. Above a basement housing the technical systems stands the ground floor with the magazine library (at the entrance), the info point, the children’s section with study room that can also be used as a course room and the play area (all separated internally by glass panels), and the first floor with the open-shelf library area, the historical archives and a section devoted to local history.
The exterior stands out for the grey coloured large format ceramic tiles (60×120 cm porcelain tiles supplied by Floor Gres) used as curtain walls and mounted on insulated galvanised steel sandwich panels clad internally by fibre-reinforced plaster walls. The choice of mounting expanded steel sheet panels over some of the fenestration openings lends dynamism to the exterior. Grey solar screen elements mounted flush with the façade highlight the continuity with the opaque wall during the day while at night the lights draw attention to the full-height fenestration.
Floor Gres, Ecotech
Ecodark, Ecogrey, Ecolight
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): E<=0,1%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): UA ULA UHA
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): <150
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): >40
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R10
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant