Variation of modes of use: functions, users, schedules, etc.

Relationship between the ownership and the form of the investment that allows the transformation

Variation of the overall dimensions of the building

Proportional relationship between new spaces and existing spaces

Relationship between the structural adjustments and the existing structure

Relationship between the forms and types of pre-existing materials and those of the new intervention

Relationship between the image of the new and the image of the existing (mimesis / contrast)


Arzignano (VI) - ITALY


AMAA Collaborative Architecture Office For Research And Development



AMAA – Workshop Final Outcome

PROJECT - Main Infos

PROJECT: AMAA – Workshop Final Outcome

LOCATION: Arzignano (VI) - ITALY

YEAR: 2019

ARCHITECT / FIRM: AMAA Collaborative Architecture Office For Research And Development

BUYER: Alias srl - Marco Mettifogo

SURFACE: 180 sqm

PRICE: € 250.000

Architecture is the result of a complex phase, such as the project. It is not a unique and linear process, but it is based on the continuous review of multiple options available always keeping a critical attitude. This is a peculiar practice manner based on the primary role of the IDEA in the process. The act of DOING is also fundamental and researches a balance between the three steps of working on architecture: theory, order and the final outcome. Each one keeps the essence of the original idea and gradually becomes more precise and developed until the project reaches the realization. Theory is a synthesis in the making of the background made of models, references, words and other contributions coming from other disciplines, all weaved together. Order transforms this background into design weaving a deep connection with the city, its history and its layers. The real challenge is to preserve the essence of that idea during the entire process, from the first sketch to the detailed constructive drawings and finally during the construction on site (the final outcome). The reciprocity that binds AMAA and the client is fundamental, as already demonstrated by illustrious collaborations such as, for example, the relationship between Carlo Scarpa and Adriano Olivetti. Sharing values has effectively laid the foundations for the realization of the work, as a complete expression of the architectural research of the Studio. The client, in this case, not only states the needs or his will, puts energy and makes resources available, but above all he works with the designer accepting the various aspirations. The result is a two - storey box that hosts the new AMAA branch office inside a former vaulted factory. Everything appears for what it is: the thin steel frame structure, the concrete and metal slab, the path of the electrical system with its pipes, plugs and switches, the metal frame of the windows.

WHAT - Program

PREVALENT CONSERVATION / CONTINUITY: The functional program remains predominantly the original one, with a limited new program.

The re-use of the district called B-Zone (former headquarter of the Pellizzari Pump Factory) takes place through the progressive change of scale – from the urban to the more detailed one. The whole strategy encourages a boost of social re-activation, considering the degradation of the area but also its potential. A multi-purpose complex is indeed an opportunity to establish a new polarity that changes the consolidated flows of the city. The intermediate scale concerns the main building, already in use in its new one function, with the addition of a new layer, the outdoor basement, which solves the difference in height between the interior spaces, the public outdoor area and the street. The detailed scale completes the project with a closed volume that hosts the new AMAA branch office.

WHO - Financing

TOTAL CONSERVATION / CONTINUITY: The investor is the property owner.

Marco Mettifogo | Entrepreneur (President of Calpeda Spa), visionary collector, friend and patron who shows a great sensitivity to architectural matters and a great understanding of a type of architecture that does not live isolated but is nourished and reflected in its context of reference, with which, evidently, it interacts immediately and in time. Between him and the architects there is a relationship of mutual listening, a conscious and always full of fervent interest in the project as Gio Ponti was suggesting in “Amate l’architettura” referring to all - designers, promoters and users. The interest in the work is therefore attributed to the common role of the various actors who jointly constitute two sides of the project. His way of being a client thus becomes fundamental in the creation of the cultural meaning of architecture in a city context such as Arzignano (VI) where a peripheral reality with an important industrial center gets in touch with the aspirations of an important urban context.

HOW MUCH - Absolute Dimensions


PREVALENT CONSERVATION / CONTINUITY: The overall dimensions increase moderately with respect to the pre-existing surface.


TOTAL CONSERVATION / CONTINUITY: The overall dimensions are equal to the pre-existing volume.

The former Pellizzari Pump Factory has been preserved as it was during the last years of production, before it was completely abandoned. The project site – commonly identified as B Zone - presented signs of aging and stratifications due to functional needs linked to the production process. The project, despite a functional revolution of interior spaces, starts from the industrial nature of the site with the intention of preserving all the distinctive features of the building. Only one layer was added: the external dark concrete basement. This result is achieved through a rigorous intervention that ensures the maintenance of the architectural layout and of the original equipment, such as the bridge crane, and at the same time guarantees the possibility of using this place for new functions. This flexible design strategy is both reversible and capable of increasing the quality of the existing buildings.

HOW MUCH - Relative Dimensions

PREVALENT CONSERVATION / CONTINUITY: Pre-existing spaces are prevalent with respect to new spaces.

A new box takes place inside the vaulted building and seeks relationships with the existing geometries and the industrial materials, such as concrete, steel, corrugated sheets, glass, marble and wood. The deep tank, designed for the pumps’ testing, is now used for servant spaces (toilets, storage and technical rooms, kitchen) without altering the original shape. It has been interpreted as the basement for the new addiction and from which the volume of the concrete staircase emerges. The bridge crane divides the space and becomes the project’s reference in height. The slender steel elements and the perimetral window frames maintain indeed a complete transparency between old and new, keeping the complete perception of the industrial ‘envelope’.

HOW - Design Strategy STRUCTURE

BALANCE BETWEEN CONSERVATION AND REPLACEMENT: The supporting structure is composed in a balanced way by pre-existing structures and new structures.

The concrete floor works as the basement for the volume of the new concrete staircase and for the new steel structure which rises for two levels (the upper one is higher and wider in surface) with a regular squared module. These slender steel elements are structural skeleton but also geometric configuration for the steel windows frames along the perimeter. Everything appears for what it is, especially the archetype tripartite structure (the concrete basement, the steel vertical frame and the concrete and metal slabs), which emphasizes the relevant role of mechanics rules in the construction.

HOW - Design Strategy MATERIAL

PREVALENT CONSERVATION / CONTINUITY: The materials chosen for the new intervention show more similarities than differences compared to the pre-existing ones.

The importance of using “true” materials (that sincerely reveal themselves) is shown on built architecture but also in the making of scale models, in which theory and praxis come together as a unique object. These models are detailed and precise such as real architecture; in their small proportions, they give hints of its complexity. AMAA pursues the idea of a space crafted for people, always favoring a custom-made product, from the small details to global designs. Style is an outdated phenomenon. Architecture needs a handwriting that can write in different languages in order to be able to respond adequately to each location and assignment. A two-storey box hosts the new AMAA branch office inside a former vaulted factory. Everything appears for what it is and recalls the memory of the former industrial identity of the site: the thin steel frame structure, the concrete and metal slab, the path of the electrical system with its pipes, plugs and switches, the metal frame of the windows.

HOW - Design Strategy IMAGE

PREVALENT CONSERVATION / CONTINUITY: The new intervention favors a relationship of continuity with the existing structures.

Architecture should speak for itself as a result of a complex phase, such as the project. It is not a unique and linear process, but it is based on the continuous review of multiple options available always keeping a critical attitude. That means a specific mindset based on the primary role of the IDEA (the concept) in the process. The design process aims to weave a deep connection with the city, its history and its layers. On this regard, simplicity stands out as a unique way to establish intricate relations. Architecture not only reflects our time and culture, but also shapes it. The answer to any specific contemporary need or issue can be always traced back in old traditions. Safe and easy solutions are not a reference, whereas the sincere use of materials reflects our attitude. Indeed, every project possesses a unique set of challenges and opportunities to emphasize both the structure and the construction, regarded as the essence of architecture.