Research Centre




The competition for a new Research Center on the island of Sicily is located in a valley that overlooks to the north the Mediterranean Sea and behind is surrounded by mountains.

The placement of laboratories within the plot had taken into account the morphology of the area and has considered in particular the ventilation, the view.

The whole design is based on factors such as sustainability, functionality, harmony and iconicity, to create something that wants to be unequivocally amazing. The design has also followed strict principles to get a sustainable development with the proposals of group mobility, the reuse of excavated material, the protection of existing vegetation and more.

The project of 152.000 cubic meters of laboratories placed on an area of over 160.000 square meters includes a Conference Centre, Guesthouse, Canteen, Gymnasium and Offices.

The organization of the buildings is based on the concept of the village and the molecular structure, with buildings such as electrons organized around the nucleus (Central Labs). Each laboratory follows the principles of safety, efficiency, functionality and cost-effectiveness and is internally organized in modules which make it extremely flexible. Furthermore they are all orientated to provide the best view to the outside, thus reinforcing the relationship between scientific research and nature.

Walking toward the research centre, breathing the air of the sea, and with the mountains that stand out with their peaks the observer can see, between the stone walls and olive trees, a cut, an opening that suggested a space that is not yet there but communicates its presence through a careful use of the glass interrupting the stone. White linear buildings raised reflecting the light and giving shelter from the burning sun. These buildings are changing with the point of view. Totally open or close, they welcome or reject. Never the same. Unique elements, harmonious, innovative. Surprising.

The chimney, here transformed into towers and structural elements, are following the rhythm of the surrounding mountains. The care for details aims to make technological elements, iconic elements, and not visual pollution.

Surprising: in the way of harmonizing human with the environment designing green spaces, socialization areas and well-being of everything/everybody; in the way to make it efficient while enhancing the local heritage; in the uniqueness of forms and the perfect marriage between new-extremely advanced with the typical-exciting local landscape.

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