Labics completes colourful public / private addition to MAST Foundation complex
The MAST complex in Bologna has just been completed by Labics following a competition-winning submission back in 2006. MAST blends both private facilities for the Foundation’s employees and public amenities for the local community who are welcome to engage in technology, art and innovation at the new Italian complex.
Described by Labics as ‘a sort of micro-city’, the development is a colourful concoction of intimate spaces connected by an intricate network of pathways and channels. This design approach reflects the wide array of creative and entrepreneurial fields supported by the institution in an effort to bolster economic and social growth.
At ground floor level, MAST hosts a company canteen, exhibition hall, service rooms, a gym and large nursery. Above this, visitors will find additional exhibition space supported by a cafeteria. At the top of the building, there are a cluster of classrooms, a 400-seat auditorium and a grand foyer.
Of their completed scheme, Labics said: “The program of the competition has been interpreted by Labics who aimed at bringing together different functions in a single complex and giving the building greater strength and identity, so as to delineate an interface between public and private.”
Externally the building form has two separate entrances: a private, linear access for the building’s employees, relating directly to the existing volumes occupied by the Foundation; and a public entrance which leads towards a park and the city of Bologna.
The outside of the MAST is characterised by a series of interlocking volumes with a double skin glass envelope which spans the entire façade. This double skin is formed of a transparent curtain wall and a glazed layer which has been screenprinted with a pixelated photographic design. The vibrant colour scheme can therefore be viewed from within the interior space in contrast to the otherwise neutrally-toned décor.