mario cucinella tops brazilian smart factory with sloping roof inspired by tropical leaves

mario cucinella tops brazilian smart factory with sloping roof inspired by tropical leaves

inside the nice smart factory by mario cucinella architects

 

Nice, an Italian multinational leader in the Smart Home automation sector, has inaugurated its new 20,000 square-meter Brazilian factory in the industrial district of Campinas, Limeira, located northwest of São Paulo. Designed by Mario Cucinella Architects, the building also houses the company’s International Research & Development Center and serves as its Brazilian headquarters. The project benefits from proximity to a natural water source and a forest, encouraging MCA to explore a bioclimatic and bio-inspired design model in terms of form and function.

mario cucinella tops brazilian smart factory with sloping roof inspired by tropical leaves
Brazilian Smart Factory for Nice by Mario Cucinella Architects | all images © Duccio Malagamba

 

 

a distinct sloping roof inspired by tropical leaves in brazil

 

The Brazilian Smart Factory by Mario Cucinella Architects (see more here) features a distinct tropical leaf-inspired sloping roof that rests gently on slender load-bearing columns protecting the existing vegetation. Meanwhile, a generous overhanging 2,670 sqm roof offers plentiful shade in and around the building, creating a crucial passive cooling device with its overhang reaching up to 16 meters. The roof extends outwards to provide additional shading and protection for the glass facades during the middle of the day, resulting in a significant annual solar gain reduction. 

mario cucinella tops brazilian smart factory with sloping roof inspired by tropical leaves
the courtyard entrance atrium has a distinctive 13.5-meter high funnel at its center

 

 

providing constant natural ventilation

 

The courtyard entrance atrium has a distinctive 13.5-meter high funnel at its center, providing constant natural ventilation. This region’s stable and moderate external temperature range enables year-round operation for its tall ventilation chimney, which effectively serves as the Smart Factory’s lung. Its organic shape, dominant scale, and position express the importance of environmental mitigation to the building design. The ‘lung’ is also visible externally and can be seen from most of the structure’s other floors, including the ground level where Nice‘s showroom and manufacturing spaces take shape. Interestingly, the funnel speaks to a Brazilian tradition of Modernist architecture. This tradition is further explored by Mario Cucinella Architects through external circulation and the landscaping on the ground floor, introducing a small oasis within the building.

mario cucinella tops brazilian smart factory with sloping roof inspired by tropical leaves
the funnel serves as the lungs of the building

 

 

It is more and more important to be able to give life to architecture that is genuinely in dialogue with the context, with nature. That relationship was considered fundamental in past centuries, but we have gradually come to neglect it. I believe Nice can stand as a virtuous example in that sense: an architecture which, thanks to being in close harmony with the natural elements of its surrounding territory, minimises the impact on the environment,shares Mario Cucinella.

mario cucinella tops brazilian smart factory with sloping roof inspired by tropical leaves
Mario Cucinella rests the sloping roof on slender load-bearing columns

 

 

maximum openness and permeability

 

To this end, Nice attains its objective of revolutionizing what a manufacturing space can be by replacing the image of a closed, compact structure with one of maximum openness and permeability. This interconnectedness also applies to how those working in the building are brought together through large, glazed windows that enable staff and visitors on the ground floor to watch the manufacturing activities. Above, the two levels of office floors and common areas link to a 500 sqm annex with social spaces, including an outdoor kitchen with a churrasco grill. This annex is reached using elevated walkways that run through the forest, enabling those inside to enjoy the surrounding woodland.

mario cucinella tops brazilian smart factory with sloping roof inspired by tropical leaves
elevated walkways that run through the forest

 

 

mario cucinella’s smart factory reveals passive control systems

 

Nice’s own Energy Policy guided the Limeira project, setting itself the goal of reducing CO2 from energy consumption by 50% by 2025 and achieving zero CO2 emissions by 2030. These targets outline a reduction trajectory consistent with international targets to keep global warming below 2°C. In addition, Nice’s manufacturing spaces were conceived as a smart factory based on the principles of Industry 4.0. This new approach uses new technologies to improve working conditions, create a sustainable business model, and increase factories’ efficiency and production quality. Together, these policies helped inform an approach whereby the combination of thermal mass and natural ventilation render the production areas at Nice free from requiring mechanical heating and cooling while enabling high standards of comfort through a strategic combination of passive environmental control systems. The showroom and offices have a mixed system that encourages using natural ventilation, which reduces overall cooling loads. 

mario cucinella tops brazilian smart factory with sloping roof inspired by tropical leaves
large, glazed windows take over the facades

mario cucinella tops brazilian smart factory with sloping roof inspired by tropical leaves
the Smart Factory integrates passive environmental systems for cooling and ventilation

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project info:

 

name: Brazilian Smart Factory 

location: Limeira, Brazil 

achitecture studio: Mario Cucinella Architects (here) | @mario_cucinella_architects

project team: Mario Cucinella ; Andrea Rossi (Project Director); Michele Olivieri (Design Director); Elena Biason (R&D) Maria Pazzaglia (Team Member); Valerio Vincioni (Team Member); Mariangela Toscano (Team Member) ; Angelo Ungarelli (Computational Designer); Alessio Naldoni (Technical Project Leader); Augusta Zanzillo (BIM Coordinator); Yuri Costantini (Modelling Coordinator); Andrea Genovesi (Modelling Specialist); Alessia Monacelli (Visual Artist Coordinator); Guglielmo Barbieri (Visual Artist); Sebastian Beldean (Visual Artist)

client: Nice S.p.A.
structural engineering & MEP: MF Minerbo Fuchs Engenharia S.A.

landscape design: Balmori Associates

photographer: Duccio Malagamba | @duccio.malagamba

year: 2019 – 2023
floor area: 20,000 sqm

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