Sustainability and comfort, Zamasport presents its new headquarters
In Novara (Italy) the new headquarters of Zamasport – a brand among the pioneers of Italian prêt à porter – promotes a new relationship between technology, humans and environment because Frigerio Design Group’s architecture conveys a concept of wellbeing combining ethics and respect for the environment.
Intended to house production and executive areas – offices, creative ateliers, test rooms and a part of production – the new building acts as a hinge between pre-existing buildings and covers an area of 3,700 square meters.
The external envelope evocates a fabric and that combination of technique and creativity characterising Zamasport’s work, while spaces, pathways and environments are designed to contribute to a higher quality in the working life of employees, whose wellbeing is pursued in every aspect of the design.
The use of natural lighting, the presence of greenery, acoustic comfort and the definition of internal microclimates contribute to shaping not only functional but also enjoyable and welcoming spaces, in the name of total quality.
In addition, a responsible use of materials and resources accompany the entire design process of the building: from the selection of raw materials to the definition of volumes, up to the building’s energy management and its maintenance over time.
In order to reduce energy consumption and optimise internal sensory comfort, Italian studio Frigerio Design Group worked extensively on maximising passive performance and reducing the active and Zamasport headquarters is NZEB (Near Zero Energy Building): a highly energy-efficient building using renewable resources for over half its energy needs.
The building is connected to pre-existent buildings through transparent pathways and its shapes are inspired by fabric, the raw material used by the company: curves and sinuosity, pleats and folds give birth to vibrant and smooth surfaces, thanks to the natural and industrial materials, enriched by details and techniques that ennoble and qualify their image.
Natural lighting is enhanced everywhere and greenery becomes an integral part of the project, in a relationship of visual continuity between garden and architecture that strengthens the human / nature bond.
The structure designed by Frigerio Design Group is a simple and compact volume hiding, at the first floor, suspended gardens overlooked by the offices and all the atelier test rooms; the architecture – developed on a 46×46 meter square plan and 10 meters high – is prefabricated in reinforced concrete and enhances natural lighting through large openings – such as the glass façade and the microshed covering in the fabric warehouse.
The building’s volume is closed on three sides by structures made of prefabricated concrete panels – with thermal break and ventilated – with a finishing of self-cleaning photocatalytic concrete coloured in mass: their smooth and sinuous texture, shaped by several folds vibrating in the natural lighting, recall the free geometries of fabrics.
The surface is obtained by a formwork reproducing the vertical draping of a fabric and gives a touch of visible softness to the hardness of concrete; on the contrary, the main façade is completely glazed: here a shading in vertical curvilinear strips, which seem to be moving, intensify the feeling of lightness given by the transparencies, by recalling strips of fabric hanging from above.
The layout of the different interior areas is conceived to provide the highest functionality and optimisation of the coexistence between the different functions, both the operational and the representative.
Offices, workshops and meeting rooms are in the front of the building, while the warehouse is in the back: the two areas are sharply separate making them immediately distinguished.
Production is located on the ground floor: the fabric and accessories warehouses with a loading and unloading area, the cutting department, the employee entrance and the main entrance for guests; a glazed connection on the west side links the new building to the other company departments designated to development, sewing and tailoring.
The first floor, which overlooks the two internal suspended gardens, is dedicated to representative areas: it includes meeting rooms, break areas, the purchase department, production and general management with the test rooms – where the special tunable white lighting enables adjusting shade, heat and intensity of lights in order to enhance the perception of the garments.
Work environment safety, use of natural lighting in every space, hierarchy of pathways in order to respect the different work needs: these are the three key-tasks to base the design and management of spaces for the Zamasport Headquarters; the various components (finishing, systems and modular furniture) are dry-assembled to guarantee easy maintenance and certified high quality.
The result is a highly innovative industrial complex, where comfort is combined with efficiency and sustainability.