i.lab, Italcementi Research and Innovation Centre
Site characteristics: i.lab is located at the eastern end of the area
included within the perimeter of Kilometro Rosso Science and Technology Park and develops outside the red "wall" bordering the Park along the Highway A4.and determines the cross configuration of the structures built on it. The interruption of the wall, at the point from which Città Alta can be seen, opens up the end of the Park to the surrounding area and it is here that ltalcementi has built its new building.
Program: research laboratories, offices, meeting room, conference room.
Area: the building covers a total area of 23,000 m2, 7,500 m2 are occupied by research laboratories.
Construction system: All the structures above ground of the building, both site-cast and precast (curtain walling panels, shell covers, pillars above ground) were built with white concrete TX Active®
Two white wings for Kilometro Rosso
i.lab is a powerful engine of industrial research. Meier's project is characterised by the utmost attention to quality, which is also apparent from the details of each and every component, but first and foremost from the quality of space. Large airy spaces that allow people and functions to interrelate along the paths suggested by the Architect.
Richard Meier has designed i.lab as a structure including two above-grade and three basement levels. i.lab follows and reinforces the V-shape of the site: the two wings facing a central courtyard seem to accentuate the building's opening towards i.land, the ornamental agricultural park that has been specially realized outdoors.
The impressive arrow-like canopy that lies above the main entrance creates a two-storey generous covered public plaza leading to a sky-lit atrium from which the two wings of the building depart. The first wing runs parallel to the highway and contains labs and offices; the second wing houses a large conference room with up to 260 seats on the ground floor and formal corporate offices on the upper floor.
i.lab boasts a multitude of technical and industrial innovative elements: the glass façade system, which creates a contrast effect between the solidity of cement and the transparent lightness of glass; the curtain wall, developed in response to the need for natural lighting, which stands on the side of the building facing the highway and the town
of Bergamo. Formed by an array of concrete blades resembling a geometrical sculpture, it is capable of creating an element that is both a definite formal statement and a tool to provide shade to the interior by intercepting sunlight. Moreover, the arrow-like end of the cantilever roof, which makes i.lab a true landmark and a recognizable sign on the
territory. Finally, at the other end opposite the i.lab, from under an impressive hanging white wall, it is still possible to catch a glimpse of the final volume of the Kilometro Rosso by Nouvel.
Located in the Kilometro Rosso Science Park, the building has an overall surface area of 23,000 m2 and hosts more than 120 researchers all engaged in investigating and developing innovative technological, functional and aesthetic solutions for new construction materials.
Designed and built to conform to LEED - Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards, i.lab has been rated PLATINUM, the highest LEED rating for energy-efficient and environmentally sustainable buildings.
i.lab complies with very strict energy efficiency requirements, which allow it to save up to 60% more energy than a traditional building of the same size and end-use destination. This has been possible thanks to the special construction methods adopted, the materials used and the recourse to renewable energies.
Sustainable plants and excellence materials
The building's roof is fitted with 420 photovoltaic panels: total electricity generation per year is estimated at roughly 96,000 kW, corresponding to 52 tons of CO2 saved each year. 50 m2 of solar thermal panels meeting 65% of the building's yearly hot water requirement.
Fifty-one wells serving the building were dug as far down as 100 m from road level. The geothermal system contributes to winter heating and summer cooling, with energy savings of up to 50% and 25% respectively, thus reducing overall CO2 emissions into the atmosphere.
Alternative, recycled and/or locally produced materials have been used to build i.lab. The i.lab building is covered with cement containing TX Active, the photocatalytic "smog-eating" active principle. Some walls in the i.lab building are made of i.light, the "transparent" cement developed by Italcementi laboratories and used for the first time on the Italian Pavilion at Expo 2010 in Shanghai. Some interior and exterior decoration elements are made with Effix Design, a mortar with impressive mechanical and aesthetic properties, developed for creating non-structural cement elements. i.idro DRAIN was used for paving the ramps leading to the basement floors and the garden, and also for the concrete beading around the plants.
Richard Meier received his architectural training at Cornell University and established his own office in New York in 1963. His practice has been awarded major civic commissions in the United States, Europe, and Asia, including courthouses and city halls, museums, corporate headquarters, and housing and private residences.
Among his most well-known projects are The Getty Center in Los Angeles; the "Dives in Misericordia" Church in Rome, Italy; the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia; 165 Charles Street & 173-176 Perry Street Condominiums in New York; the Canal+ Television Headquarters in Paris, France; and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona, Spain.
In 1984, Mr. Meier was awarded the Pritzker Prize for Architecture, considered the field's highest honor. In the same year, he was selected architect for the prestigious commission to design The Getty Center in Los Angeles, which was opened to popular and critical acclaim in December 1997. Among the projects recently completed by Richard Meier & Partners are the Gagosian Gallery in Los Angeles; Arp Museum in Germany; the Ara Pacis Museum in Rome; the Burda Collection Museum in Baden-Baden, Germany; the Broad Art Center at UCLA; the San Jose City Hall; Coffee Plaza in Hamburg, Germany; and the U.S. Courthouses in Islip, New York, and Phoenix, Arizona; and Weill Hall, the Life Sciences Technology Building at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Projects currently under construction include the Italcementi i.lab in Bergamo, Italy; a condominium complex in Jesolo, Italy; a residential tower in Tel Aviv, Israel; two residential towers in Tokyo, Japan; two hospitality and commercial projects in Mexico; a club house and hotel in China; and luxury residences in Bodrum (Turkey), Luxembourg, Shenzhen (China), Hartfordshire (the UK) and Long Island (New York).
In 1997, Richard Meier received the AIA Gold Medal, the highest award from the American Institute of Architects and, in the same year, the Praemium Imperiale from the Japanese government in recognition of lifetime achievement in the arts. He is a Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects and the American Institute of Architects, and he received a Medal of Honor from the New York Chapter of the AIA in 1980 and a Gold Medal from the Los Angeles Chapter in 1998. His numerous awards include thirty National AIA Honor Awards and over fifty regional AIA Design Awards. In 1989, Richard Meier received the Royal Gold Medal from the Royal Institute of British Architects. In 1992, the French Government honored him as a Commander of Arts and Letters, and in 1995 he was elected Fellow to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Cooper- Hewitt Museum, the American Academy in Rome and the American Academy of Arts and Letters from which he received the Gold Medal for Architecture in 2008. He is currently working on his first monograph about his sculptures, collages, drawings and paintings with famous graphic designer Massimo Vignelli. He has received honorary degrees from the University of Naples, the New Jersey Institute of Technology, The New School for Social Research, Pratt Institute, the University of Bucharest, and North Carolina State University.
- i.nova Cemento y conglomerantes Comercial
Arquitecto/EstudioRichard MeierHis practice has been awarded major civic commissions in the United States, Europe, and Asia, including courthouses and city halls,museums, corporate headquarters, and housing and private residences. In 1984, Mr. Meier was awarded the Pritzker Prize for Architecture, considered the field's highest honor.