The new self-sufficient Pratic Industrial Headquarters completed by Geza Associati
The new headquarters and production complex of Pratic, a company specialised in the design and manufacture of curtain systems, has recently been completed in Fagagna, a town located in the province of Udine, in northern Italy. The complex was designed and built by Geza Associati. The intervention is composed principally of: a main volume that houses the main productive core; a second volume is dedicated to the offices; a parking lot for 100 cars; a loading dock and service area; and a garden space.
In addition spaces dedicated to communication, showrooms, break rooms and open communal and private areas are housed in the buildings in order to accommodate the daily activities of the workers. The complex, anchored in the industrial zone of the town, is also intimately tied to the surrounding agricultural landscape through different aspects of its design,thus ultimately forming part of the mountainscape characteristic of the region.
The project is infused with a strong desire for simplicity. The dry and elemental nature of the structure, the colours and even the interaction with the landscape are testament to this principle. Regardless of its dark and silent nature, the complex manages to become an icon for the passerby. The façade is dominated by alternating glazed surfaces and solid panels of diverse widths that are always ten metres in height. The differing dimensions of black marble stone and dark cement that make up the finish of the panels allow for a varied façade alive with the interplay of sunlight, shadow and changing atmospheric conditions.
The organisation of the programmes housed within the headquarters of Pratic tends to establish a non-hierarchical rapport between the spaces and instead privileges a greater quality of integration between the built environments. Every function is instilled with a sense of clarity and rigor, from the loading dock area to the space planning of the offices. The project’s interaction with the surrounding context was carefully designed by Geza through three gestures: the cultivated terrain, the garden and the patio.
The design’s focus on landscape is also developed in terms of environmental sustainability. The production core’s roof is composed of a series of photovoltaic panels that generate a greater amount of energy than is necessary to run the building. Pratic, designed as a 'classe a' (the equivalent of a LEED platinum) certified structure, is self-sufficient.
Landscape, light, and sustainable energy are the key elements to understand the design for the headquarters of Pratic. The complex manages to have an affinity to its surrounding environment, allowing the terrain, the sunlight, and the mountains to form both the background and foreground of its composition.