Barilla social headquarters, competition. Parma, Italia.


Year 2016
Client Barilla
Location Parma, Italia.
Program Cultural + Gastro promotions + New Ideas building.
Surface +10.000 m2
 Structure BBG Estructures.
 Engineering RC Enginyers
 Acoustics Higini Arau, Barcelona
 Exterior-Light Yann Kersalé, Paris
Models MAAD  Santi Mañero
with Carles Diaz



Our proposal for this project was born from an idea that is certainly poetic and that talks about Barilla, without necessarily talking about the brand. An idea where an element common to all humans, a material that generates us, keeps us alive and that is absolutely necessary for life activity. WATER.

WATER, the concept of the use of water as the final stage of the process of most of Barilla’s products. The boiling point, the moment when the ingredients joined in different formalizations; Farfalle, orecchiette, penne rigate, spaghetti … reach their optimum cooking point to be combined with other ingredients and finally enjoyed by diners.

The boiling point of water as synonymous with the beginning of the end, as an analogy of success, as an apparently chaotic scenario, but which really is the logic of a mathematical process generated by heat and hydrogen and oxygen molecules.

In a lateral reading, we see how inside the pots the product is the protagonist, the reason why everything happens. It’s the stage, the audience, where one enters a state to leave in another, more enriching one.

We elevate the building to enhance its presence in the immediate context. In a similar way the Castle of Torrechiara located on the near south of Parma. This magnificent building from the 15th century, elevates the architecture to a higher level in order to control the area. To create a server-servant situation. A clear hierarchy between the man made intervention and the pre-existence natural environment. It becomes another visual icon. Mountains versus Architecture. Nature versus tectonics, Organic shapes versus man designed forms.

Let us use this metaphor for the formalization of a building located in a very interesting enclave due to the scale changes it entails.

First of all;

  • A self-made town by Barilla. Which shapes an orthogonal disposition, organized, a clear consequence of a constant business growth during these last decades. A view, with a firm, static and attractive presence.
  • The highway, and other secondary roads. The generation of different speeds from which the building will be admired. For these others, who see it from the highway it will be an ephemeral vision, but one that should captivate, create questions to the viewer, create curiosity-admiration.
  • Finally, there is the third reading, much more current, the view from the satellite. Where different media entities share Earth’s view in different presentations, the roofs of buildings, that now more than ever should dialogue with satellites to say … here we are! It’s us!

High speed interaction with the iconic building.


The relationship with existing buildings.

Our proposal respects the current order, adding to the distributive scheme of the city Barilla, respects the access and the organizational framework.

It is respected in such a way that we create a binding axis, an umbilical cord with the rest of the buildings, a walk through which it is accessed to and from Barilla. A pedestrian umbilical cord and at the same time energetic, because in the subsoil we want to propose the connection of electrical installations, data, water …

Our building, which is born from water, will be in the middle of a new wheat field. A natural envelope, which in a demonstrative way will be cultivated by people who transform the image of the environment in function of the harvests. The visitor, observes first hand, as the two most important ingredients in the product barilla, are the generators of a complex that from the hyper-technology seeks to share the basic and fundamental concepts of the company:

Tradition, coherence, family, elegance, historical respect …

We recovered the current small welcoming building, such as the exhibition centre. We surround them and expand them with an active glass box, which thanks to its luminous, thermal and communicative behaviour will make the art exhibitions reach another level.

Our building works in the aforementioned concept, while establishing a bio-climatic link with the context. Like our grandparents did. But with new technologies. We propose a self-managed building with low consumption, low ecological footprint, low construction weight, energy optimum, which can even power buildings from the rest of the Barilla complex. We want to create a building under the requested programmatic requests, but we also want to add the concept of ‘energy station’ a kind of transforming station.

Natural light

This privileged area of ​​Italy has a very particular light, days of intense and direct light and others of a more discrete gloom. The variability can become extreme with a short difference of time. Even during the same day, the contributions of sunlight can vary by 47%. The seasons of the year, still present in these latitudes, warn of fluctuations in the intensity of the solar beam and variations in its inclination with the horizontal. Going from about 21 to 70 degrees of inclination. We take advantage of these variations instead of facing them. We talk to the same Sun that saw the first days of Italy, thousands of years ago.

We propose a formal language that uses the technology of the 21st century, to work side by side with the natural context.

We propose the envelope of EFTE (Ethylene Tetra Fluorine Ethylene). It is a transparent polymer of extraordinary durability. With great chemical and mechanical resistance to cutting and abrasion. Holds temperatures up to 170ºC.

The EFTE weighs at least 100 times less than glass and 470 times less than a stone facade. Its laminar capabilities allow you to adjust the light and assume the desired lux at any time. With this technology we will control the light in real time throughout the year. Both day and night.

Artificial light:

The EFTE envelope is complemented by a skin of micro-LEDs.

The function of these small artifacts is mainly the communicative and secondly as elements that analyze and parameterize the external and internal light conditions.

His communicative work is done through the generation of millions of colors. Its infinite combinations allow the envelope to generate from:

–           Shapes,

– Texts,

– Images on the skin of the building. Communicating what Barilla intends to share.

Bio-climatic envelope:

The envelope will be composed of three strategies

1- Light and thermal management capacity

2- Photovoltaic envelope. All the energy used in the building will be self-managed.

3- Control of CO2, and ionization of indoor air.


Air pre-air conditioning

The air will be pre-cooled and filtered by geothermal energy. Assuming the temperature, check the sub-soil.



The facade will manage the degree of indoor humidity, while knowing how many people there are using the interior program. The air will always be in constant renovation without energy losses.

Solar protection facade and cover.

The interior will be protected from direct sunlight and ultraviolet light. The skin is alive, we will work it as such. That which occurs in the interior will have consequences on the activity of the epidermis.

WEIGHT: We try to generate a building of the least possible weight, to avoid the environmental impact. The lower the weight, the lower the support in the subsoil.

Materials: the environment is the director of this chapter. We will try to minimize the high consumption of CO2 and use recyclable materials. And recycle others, as a demonstration that the pillars of Technique, Style and Form collaborate perfectly with Mother Earth.

Water cycle.

The project is based on the idea of ​​honoring water, Barilla products have had water as a generating factor in their genesis, and it is the water that ultimately cooks the product generated. By way of respect, all the water that rains on the building will be collected and managed prudently. Using it in indoor activities and outdoor gardening.

Energy demand reduction.

The building will know in real time the:

temperature-humidity-wind-solar incidence, rain, environmental pollution that will be abroad. It will behave like a human skin, protecting the building itself, and secondly empathize with the programmatic activities that occur.

Landscaping and thermal control over vehicles

As we have already explained, the building arises from a field of wheat, a place of natural appearance, where the life cycle of the most important ingredient of Barilla products is fulfilled. That is why our idea includes hiding the cars, so that they are not themselves and their arbitrary disposition the visual prelude of the visitor.

The image of the project must be controlled at all times, and only that which is natural (life cycle of the wheat) and that intentionally generated by Barilla (Altering the color of the building). The fact of hiding the cars, makes them thermally controlled and not suffer from natural heating or any inclement weather.