Industrial archaeology, technological innovation
At Brembate in Bergamo, there is an area where the remains of industrial archaeology are so well preserved as to be of significant interest to those interested in the genre. A truly distinctive environment that houses the new headquarters of Somain Italy, a leading company in the field of fall protection systems and life-lines, and façade maintenance and cleaning systems.
Here – in the area that up to midway through the 20th century housed a textile company – now feature brand new offices thanks to renovations masterfully managed by the architectural firm, Giavarini. Modern, but not disconnected from the surrounding environment. The link with the history of the site is actually more alive than ever. The property has in fact maintained the original lines with a characteristic sawtooth roof which, combined with the deliberately preserved red brick chimney, gives the building a truly distinctive touch.
The renovation work was certainly no easy task: the conversion of this charming but dated building, previously used for industrial purposes, required considerable effort. Firstly during excavation – to carve out a new garage and a basement warehouse – but also, and above all, during the creation of comfortable working conditions for staff.
From the design stage, attention was focused on creating an environment where functionality combined with remarkable aesthetics, so the interiors could also be beautiful to look at. To this end, the union of smooth, clean lines with a clever use of materials proved fundamentally important. Glass walls, polished steel structures and flooring in oversized porcelain tiles stand out beautifully thanks to the colour combinations focusing on lighter and brighter colour tones.
A sense of lightness purveys these offices. The glass walls are in fact partitions between the various offices accessed from a corridor that forms a sort of backbone of the structure, while the meeting room boasts a very impressive table consisting of a single sheet of glass.
In such a cutting-edge context, comfort and security could only be entrusted to the Well-contact Plus system by Vimar, for the complete management of any service industry structure.
Next to the entrance of each office, a transponder card reader only allows access to authorised staff. Like the thermostats for local temperature control, the readers are framed in elegant Reflex model polymer plaques from the Vimar Eikon series, with lines that perfectly match the environments.
Placed above the large reception desk and below an intertwining aluminium and steel chandelier – clearly referencing the materials used by the company in its products – a 4.3" touch screen allows centralised control of all the areas. From here, it is possible to manage all the environments that make up the structure. Lights, climate control, automation, safety and access – to the offices, the meeting room and conference room – are all under control and nothing escapes the intelligent management system. From a single location, the status of devices can be monitored and altered if required, as well as – thanks to transponder readers – the presence of personnel in the office.
A system that allows constant dialogue with all the technologies present in the offices. Thanks to the KNX protocol – on which Well-contact Plus is based – all KNX-compliant devices, even from different companies, can in fact interact with each other under a single control unit able to coordinate their operation, that of Vimar.
Projectors, lights, drapes and video systems in the well-equipped conference room are thus controlled from a single location, the touch screen at reception. Also in the conference room which hosts courses and seminars, the Vimar wall sockets with USB and HDMI jacks – with Keystone standard terminals for quick and easy connection – are clearly visible, as is the outlet configured for audio and video inputs. For a truly complete connection.
To allow communication with external areas, several ELVOX – a brand recently incorporated into the Vimar Group – video intercoms have been deployed in various environments: one at the front desk, one in the meeting room and one in the warehouse. These easy-to-install systems are also comely in appearance. They have a distinctly simple and strong design that perfectly matches the context.
A lot of focus was also directed at security for the transmission of any type of information. And for this reason, the Netsafe structured cabling system, able to provide very high performance in sending and receiving data, was installed. Connection and dialogue with the outside world is hence ensured.
Thus, the architectural testimony of the glorious past of the local industry now encloses new modern and technologically advanced environments, thanks to the technology of Well-contact Plus, offering extremely simple and very clever management.
Electrical system design: Engineer Antonino Casale, Bergamo
System installation: Elettroimpianti Delta, Bedulita (Bg)
Building automation system: Well-contact Plus
Home Series: Eikon