Chiesi headquarters, creating an ideal city

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Built on an area of almost 50 thousand square metres (a brownfield site, so no farmland was sacrificed), the new Chiesi Headquarters designed by EFA studio di architettura accommodates about 540 of the international pharmaceutical Group's staff

The project is located along the northern edge of the city of Parma, near Chiesi Farmaceutici’s research centre, the physical and visual vicinity of which enabled the creation of a “corporate hub”, aiding communication between the various working departments and bringing together brand staff previously spread across the area.

A compact office building stands on a base which houses collective external relations and entertainment functions. In fact, the complex contains an auditorium, a multipurpose pavilion and a company restaurant.

The extremely orderly, rational masterplan was conceived to deliver flexibility and to embrace transformations arising from different, fast-changing models of work and events organisation.

The new Headquarters pursues a high level of environmental sustainability and social responsibility not only in the construction of its buildings – which meet state-of-the-art criteria with an ideal ratio between the ventilated envelope and the plant system – but also in the approach to the configuration and infrastructural design of the outdoor spaces. These areas contribute to the achievement of the aims of regeneration of the urban location that houses the new architecture, helping to gain LEED Platinum environmental certification for the entire site.

The Headquarters is located within the broader “KilometroVerdeParma” project, a corridor of trees along the A1 motorway intended to improve the environment along one of Europe’s busiest highways, in keeping with the spirit of Chiesi, a Benefit Corporation in Italy, the United States and France and the largest international pharmaceutical group to hold B Corp certification.

In complete consistency with the environmental sustainability goals, about 8,000 square metres of Marazzi porcelain stoneware were installed for this modern example of a corporate hub. The ventilated wall was realised by the Marazzi Engineering division, which supplied the system on a turnkey basis – design, structure and on-site installation. All faces were finished with 60×120 cm modules of the Mystone Gris Fleury collection in Beige colour, cut to size for absolute precision in implementation of the architectural design.

This collection is characterised by a subtly varying background colour and an uneven grain, which give the stoneware a natural tactile beauty. Outdoor areas were finished with a raised paving – providing trouble-free inspection and great versatility in module configurations and placing– also in Mystone Gris Fleury Beige, in the 60×60 cm size and with thickness of 20 mm.

The stoneware monolith structure of the fire escape staircases was created through special shaping of a custom product (tiles with edges bevelled at 45°) inspired by concrete surfaces. The tile body mix, with its wealth of inclusions and chips and produced by a double pressing process, gives the grey concrete look surfaces an unusual consistency. 

In the indoor spaces, continuity with the pattern of the building’s envelope and the outdoor areas was achieved by installing the Taupe colour, in 60×120 cm and 30×120 cm sizes, of the same Mystone Gris Fleury collection.

Ph. Schulte-Bunert