The Fantoni Campus recalibrates to embrace change

Osoppo, Italy – The fourth industrial revolution is here, and technological advancements in the manufacturing industry are occurring at an exponential rate. The adaptability of Fantoni’s industrial facility in Osoppo, Italy – originally designed by Gino Valle and later by Studio Valle Architetti Associati - means the MDF and furniture manufacturer is able to keep up with the pace.

When vice presidents Paolo and Giovanni Fantoni decided to integrate a totally automated production line at the campus, they contacted Studio Valle, and this resulted in the evolutionary facility Plaxil 8. The continuous press it contains is the largest in all of Europe, second largest globally and part of a mammoth 80-million euro investment from the company. The line includes state-of the-art technology, including a fiber sorting and mat formation section, a continuous hot press and an area dedicated to unloading and stacking. As a confirmation of the necessary growth in this sector, 86 per cent of the top 100 companies in research and development spending worldwide are from the manufacturing industry.

The relationship between Fantoni and Gino Valle/Studio Valle – which spans over 40 years and nearly 20 campus transformations – is built on open and visionary dialogue, which accepts the unexpected and adjusts to market change. There’s very little restriction in any part of the design process,s actually – materiality, form and spatial planning is not pre-determined by an existing system or a defined set of rules. ‘Like individuals within a community, the structures change over time: Valle is not afraid to make changes to his finished work,’ explained principal architect Pietro Valle.

This un-fixed methodology provides the freedom for Studio Valle to experiment and explore materials, textures and spatial planning throughout the facility. This is demonstrated in the design of Plaxil 8: the building uses myriad materials including pre-cast corrugated concrete panels, sheet metal, reflective panels and mesh screens. They seamlessly integrate with the existing aesthetic of the existing campus and location.

According to a Deloitte study, ‘the [manufacturing] space is developing faster than people can conceptualize.’ The constant recalibration of the Fantoni Campus by Gino Valle and Studio Valle Architetti Associati is wholly reflective of the company’s approach to changing industry needs. Being able to adopt the latest advancements quickly drives future competitive advantage and is necessary for survival.

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