A new headquarters for the well-known Italian communications agency Italpromo & Libardi Associati in a converted school building in Ostiense, Rome.
Ostiense is one of the few remaining industrial areas on the edge of Rome’s historic city centre and is currently undergoing extensive architectural and social regeneration. The brief for this project was to transform an existing building without losing its unique character and retaining its original listed façade.
Labics’ main objective was to introduce new functions into the shell of the existing building, creating innovative ways of using the space based on the complex spatial, functional and social relationships within the contemporary workplace . The aim was to find the right balance between individual and shared spaces, between production and social areas. The building has therefore been organised into three different space types according to the varying needs of the client: the so-called ‘void’ spaces which include public, circulation and transitional areas; the ‘volumes’ including meeting rooms and individual work areas; and neutral open-plan spaces.
The ‘void’ is conceived as public space, a transitional area between outside and inside. This lofty, full-height internal space is intersected by iron stairs, bridges and galleries, and – in keeping with its character as a quasi-urban environment – has a landscaped social area at ground floor level. Forming the ‘guts’ of the building is a large transparent form made from acrylic. This winds throughout the space creating a system of mezzanines. Its volume forms a filter between the public and production areas and contains small individual offices and conference rooms. On the first two floors are ‘machine rooms’, conceived as open-plan collective workspaces that represent the company’s main production areas, and which are rigorously defined by the structural grid, specially designed storage systems and even the electrical outlets.