Modus Architects design a wooden monolith for Damiani-Holz

An undulating façade in wooden slats with the inclusion of corten elements

by Malcolm Clark
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The expansion of the head office of the company Damiani‐Holz & Ko. S.p.A. in Bressanone has been carried out by young architectural office Modus Architects Attia-Scagnol.

The building project, the winner of a competition in 2008, highlighted the peculiarities of the company, dedicated to developing custom-made wood construction solutions and the pursuit of product quality.

The building, which enjoys a dual ClimateHouse certification (Nature and Work & Life), looks like a building made entirely of wood. The façades, are characterized by a coating of fine wooden glulam slats (KERTO). Thanks to an articulated design the façades show an undulating movement, under the light of the different hours of the day, which gives dynamism to the entire façade. Even the main staircases and elevator hoistway are made of wood. The only exception to the solid wood monolith are the base and the three protruding elements covered in COR-TEN steel: the entry cubicle and the two large windows on the third floor, symbolically pointing towards the surrounding woods in a dialectic with the raw material making up the building.

The base, in exposed reinforced concrete, created to support the upper floors constructed entirely of wood, deliberately indicate, metaphorically, the natural vulnerability of wooden materials when placed in direct contact with the ground. Nevertheless it is in continuous dialogue with them: the concrete is moulded into the formwork and these are treated to give it the wood grain or designed to create a play of light and shade in perfect harmony with the system of slats above.

Access to the building is by two separate entrances. The one on the west side, which opens into a large window overlooking the square inside the company, introduces the reception and the adjacent commercial office, as well as the sales/purchasing office located on the ground floor. The main one, however, on the street front, and characterised by a glazed entrance cubicle with a large logo bearing main door, allows visitors to enter the entrance hall with an info point and climbing a short flight of steps, to go to the first floor or go down to the ground floor.

On the first floor, at the same height of the building for the existing offices and connected to it by a covered walkway, there is the planing office and the managing directors' offices. On the second floor, there is the administrative space and a small meeting room. Conference room and company bar are on the third and last floor and are organized as a multifunctional open-space for conferences, workshops and exhibition hall. The different levels of the new construction are connected to each other through a staircase and a lift. With both you can also reach the basement, where there are warehouses, archives and technical rooms and from which you can access the underground garage.

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    Nuova sede LignoAlp - Damiani‐Holz & Ko. office 103

    Nuova sede LignoAlp - Damiani‐Holz & Ko. office

    Brixen / Italy / 2011