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RACOTEK LABORATORIES
Bellante (TE)

Project:   Giovanni Vaccarini 

Consultant:  Pierantonio Cascioli

Chronology:   Project: 1999 Realization: 1999/2000

Executing company:  Piccioni Antonio

Staff:  Alterio Cascioli, Alessandro Tucci

Client:   Racotek srl

Location:  Bellante (TE)

This project occupies a 1,400 square meter lot in Bellante, along the axis connecting Teramo and Giulianova, on the border between the regions of Abruzzo and Marche. Designed for Racotek, a local concessionaire of Dow Corning, this distribution hub for Central Italy was to be not only a space for storing, packaging and shipping of goods, but also a tool for defining a brand image through architecture.
The occupation of the site introduces a strong formal identity that seeks a dialogue with a hybrid territory situated between an urban and a suburban/rural condition. The adjacency to an important artery and the primary exposure of the building (east-west), are two of the conditions that most informed the project and its formal and organizational components.
The building is organized in functional "bands" that inform the organization of the plan and the design of the elevations, comprised of parts distinguished by volume and materials:
- administrative management area
- goods handling area
- production area.
The production area, which represents the largest part, consists of a tall base wall surmounted by a system of polycarbonate fins that create a steel screen of "scales” approximately five meters high.
The east volume of the building, housing the management/ administrative wing, is wrapped by a ventilated façade of terracotta bricks, dry mounted on a steel substructure. The most traditional of materials is thus manipulated, installing the same piece in multiple positions and with different spacings. The result is a “skin” that is partially closed in some areas (the continuous sections and partially open in others, serving as a brise soleil. The same drawn brick element measures 5 x 15 x 50/45 cm. The anchoring system, consists in a series of steel runners tied back to the main wall and a sealing system hooked into three openings at the end of each brick. The realization of this complex building presented the office with the possibility to verify the maturity of its design research, testing the knowledge and skills gained in previous experiences.