SOMOS.arquitectos proposal for the Exhibition Center and Headquarters for Granulati Zandobbio in Bergamo (Italy).

Most of the buildings within this industrial area already take full advantage of the maximum high of 10 meters. There are other ways to offer a distinct object, either from the long distance while driving or from an immersive experience when entering inside. Complying with the necessary 30m set-back, the project tries to be as long as possible, in order to keep eye contact with the driver as much as possible. This elongated "organism" will arrange the required areas in parallel to the A4, using a system of spatial filters to qualify the transition between each space. From the A4 auto-route upwards:

-the ROAD: the multipurpose parking is designed for 150 cars. It’s finished in GRAVEL-FIX® system, offering 4.460m2 of draining surface. Two colors will be used so as to draw the word GRANULATI ZANDOBBIO, visible when arriving by plane to the nearby airport. Some parts could also be used as an outdoors exhibition area.

-the PATH: the project is contained in this central band, a surface finished with CUBETTI AUTUMN®. It covers 2.300m2 and goes from one side of the site to the other, allowing people to spread from the inner hall to those exterior spaces, where open-air events could take part as an extension of the main hall.

-the FOREST: In order to protect the building from the truck road, both visually and acoustically, a stretch of land is completely planted with trees. It also helps as a background, giving a friendly view to drivers passing by the industrial area, but also to offices, which are sometimes open to that side or to the inner hall. 


The building follows the same logic: three bands give rise to the project in both directions. 

-PARALLEL to the A4: a central main band, called the TUNNEL is embraced by two service bands running along. The first parallel band serves to deploy installations and in the ground floor, bar and stockage. The central band (11,375 meters wide), becomes the hall, illuminated from above. It is accessible from both sides of the site, allowing full continuity. One grand spiral staircase allows direct access to the mezzanine level, just above the entrance. The third band holds the rest of the program: offices for both Stone City headquarters and others to be rented, services stairs and elevators and toilets. The central block in this band allows for an easy division between both kinds of offices and the half level difference helps to deal with privacy. The guardian apartment and his office are also here, on ground level.

-PERPENDICULAR to the A4: the wooden structure floats in the air in order to delimitate a completely open-air area, an outdoor patio which helps the transition between two different scales (architectural and industrial) and which could be eventually covered with some textile material. Afterwards, there is a central band comprising entrance + reception on the ground floor and the mezzanine on the upper floor, overlooking both the main space and the outdoor patio. Finally, the grand hall, as described in the preceding paragraph, 8 meter high, including structure.
The tower is part of this volume, elegantly growing up so as to give the position of the building from a long distance.


Construction and materiality have been developed in terms of character and identity as well as in terms of sustainability and performance. The whole building is based on a square grid of 3,25 meters. The structure is in laminated wood (beams, pillars and slabs) with a metal bracing system. The proposed dried-construction systems allow a fast and quality implementation, as well as great flexibility of the spaces, which could evolve during the years. 

Since every space responds to the same 3,25m module, all panels and partitions are interchangeable. Thus, the proposal you see in the boards is one within a thousand possibilities. Several materials can be used depending on the amount of noise and visual control between two spaces. Polycarbonate panels, typical from industrial buildings, are used thoroughly in façades when light is necessary. Lightweight aluminum panels are also an option, even though we could use ALTA-PIETRA® stone systems, as it is the case for the brise-soleil panels, placed in some specific spaces. Furniture is also extensively used as a division, once again, thanks to the modular nature of the whole structure.