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Bonfiglioli Headquarters, Calderara di Reno, Italy by Peter Pichler Architecture

Project name:
Bonfiglioli Headquarters
Architecture firm:
Peter Pichler Architecture
Calderara di Reno, Bologna, Italy
Gustav Willeit
Principal architect:
Peter Pichler
Design team:
Niklas Knap, Simona Alu, Ugo Licciardi, Cem Ozbasaran, Filippo Ogliani, Giovanni Paterlini, Domenico Calabrese, Nathalia Rotelli, Angela Ferrrari, Alessandro Cardellini, Simone Valbusa.
Built area:
6200 m²
Site area:
Design year:
Completion year:
Interior design:
Civil engineer:
Structural engineer:
Environmental & MEP:
Ing Ferrari, Pichler Projects
Studio Taddia
Tools used:
Highlighted materials are aluminum and steel.
Competition first prize-Completion in 2024
Commercial › Office Building

Bonfiglioli HQ, a Celebration of Sustainability Through an Intelligent Geometry

Peter Pichler Architecture unveils the recently completed Bonfiglioli Headquarters located in Calderara di Reno, Bologna, Italy. The new Headquarters arose from the need to create an efficient and functional office building that expresses the professionalism, innovation, and proud history of the Italian company.F ounded in 1956, Bonfiglioli is a leading manufacturer and supplier of a complete range of gearmotors, drive systems, planetary gearboxes, and inverters. Bonfiglioli’s solutions are a driving force in industrial automation, mobile machinery, and renewable energy sectors worldwide.

The headquarters is the last missing piece in a larger development called EVO, the Group’s largest industrial site in Italy. EVO is designed to satisfy the most recent energy efficiency standards, offering outstanding performance in terms of environmental impact, powered by a 3 MW peak power photovoltaic plant, mounted not only on the existing new plant roofs but also on the awnings of the staff car park. The new HQ is conceived as NZEB (nearly Zero Energy Building) and features geothermal heat pumps and radiant ceilings to further save energy and obtain additional internal comfort. It stands out as a recognizable landmark that both rises above and integrates itself with the surroundings—a radical approach towards sustainability with intelligent geometry.

The starting point of the design was to incorporate the courtyard typology of the existing masterplan buildings into the massing. This courtyard houses a green garden on the ground floor and enhances natural ventilation through a chimney effect. In response to local sunlight conditions, the building’s roof has been tilted, enlarging the north façade to maximize workspace with indirect natural light. The south-facing facades and roof of the headquarters are clad in a second skin made from a custom continuous pleated aluminum mesh, which filters intense light and ensures a comfortable indoor environment while saving energy. The pleated geometry is inspired by the company’s gears while the aluminum mesh recalls the shavings that are produced daily as a byproduct of the company’s supply chain.

Designed with future flexibility in mind, the building features column-free open spaces through an Exoskeleton façade. Inside, the building is a testament to modern workplace design, fostering connectivity and collaboration. The layout is thoughtfully orchestrated, with departments distributed across various levels, for optimal public interaction and synergy with surrounding buildings. Two sculptural spiral staircases, crafted from steel, are more than a physical connectors between floors, but a symbolic vortex of creativity exchange, inviting a continuous flow of ideas. On the 3rd floor, a bridge through the internal courtyard connects the department to facilitate the workflow and communication.

The building places a special emphasis on health and well-being, incorporating green spaces and maximizing indirect natural light to enhance the work environment. Its unique sloped roof design culminates in six terraces, all oriented towards the south. These terraces provide serene outdoor spaces for reflection and pause, offering views of the iconic Santuario Madonna di San Luca. This connection to the outdoors, together with the views, enriches the daily experience of those who work there.

Bonfiglioli’s new headquarters is not just a place of work but a testament to the potential of sustainable design in the industrial sector. It stands as a model for low-carbon, energy-autonomous buildings and embodies the principles of the circular economy, ready to adapt to the evolving needs of the company and its people.

By Alfredo Gonzalez

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