Elda Bellone

Elda Bellone

New York, NY, US



Just out the edge of the town of Empoli, the building is

the Cabel Industry headquarters (a company dealing in

computer systems for banks), it covers an area of approximately

4.500 square metres over several levels and it

is incorporated on the small local industrial estate setting

up new dialectical relations with the local manufacturing


Commitment asked us to project an office building to be

constructed using industrial methods by keeping down

costs and time of construction. We decided to design a

new precast concrete panel featured to be stand on the

two main facades.

Partially set into the ground, the building is composed of

two extended floors out the ground level and a vault under.

Along the main front the facade is protected by a long strip

of public landscaping running parallel to the road.

The visitor arrives on the ground level through three

suspended bridges launched on a large excavation which

lights the vault designed to house expositions and art installations.

At night time this empty space becomes a pool

of light which allows the architecture to detach itself from

the ground, making it look like a lightweightmulticolored

object suspended in the dark.

Inside the building the underground level holds a printing

facility and other spaces allocated for various different kinds

of activities; the ground floor features all different sorts

of glazed spaces, ranging from open plan spaces to small

isolated cells, in a modern interaction of liquid working

areas like acquarium. In contrast the first floor accomodates

the management space, with a small internal patio and

terrace in-between them. The elevators and distributional

stairs take up the middle section of the structural grid,

made of stone tiles with steel elevators.

The gently curving building shell, windows, entrance gaps

and furniture decoration all feature the same basic stylistic


During the day coloured glass create liquid chromatic

effects inside black and white offices, instead of night time

when coloured cuts project out vivid lighting effects underlining

holes, cuts and shapes of the building.

The building is constructed out of prefabricated concrete

elements (painted with white protective enamel) and its

roof and end sections are tiled in grey aluminium. Starting

from outside, external wall consists of precast concrete

pannel, 80 mm thermal insulation, Knauf plasterboard.

Everywhere suspended floors are made of fine porcelain

(gres). Inside ceilings consist of plasterboard (modular or

continuous) with thermal insulation under. So the thermal

factor among the floors is optimized for reducing energetic

consumption in climatic control.

The entire roof is covered with a system of photovoltaic

solar panels using amorphous polycrystalline tecnology,

carefully positioned so as not be visible. Thanks to this

system, which is capable of generating approximately 150

kW, the building is almost totally self-sufficient from an

energy viewpoint.

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Status: Built
Location: Empoli, IT
My Role: Project Architect