High-performance surfaces for a famous brewery in Ethiopia
BGI Ethiopia, one of the largest brewers in the French Castel Group, entrusted the Rome-based Westway Architects firm with the design of its new headquarters, next to its factories in the centre of Addis Ababa. The renowned brewery wanted a very representative and impressive building that would powerfully relate to the urban context and the surrounding landscape. The main goal of the new headquarters is to express the corporate identity of a company that plays an important role in driving the Ethiopian economy. For all these reasons, the architects designed the façade to resemble a large beer mug, an original, yet institutional solution. The approach to the project was typically European, but respectful of the city’s traditions and context. Right on top of it, the building seems to unfold with a series of openings designed to ensure employees’ well-being. The building has eight floors and consists of a central core and two side wings.
Lea Ceramiche’s contribution
With the goal of combining two different building cultures, the traditional Ethiopian building structure – a reinforced concrete core and hollow concrete blocks with poor thermal performance – was flanked by a ventilated façade covered with Lea Ceramiche’s 3.5 mm-thick Slimtech surfaces, covering a total of 5500 square metres. The thin porcelain stoneware that wraps around the building recedes into the interior at certain points, becoming the cladding for the common areas and representing a continuous element between outside and inside. Slimtech includes slabs of record sizes (100×300 cm and 120×260 cm) characterised by an extraordinary lightness thanks to their reduced thickness, the result of a revolution in the traditional production process for resistant and flexible solutions. Lea Ceramica also made a significant contribution to the building’s interior with floor and wall coverings that fully express the brand’s product characteristics of strength, aesthetics and durability, offering exceptional performance that defies space and time. One of these is Protect® antibacterial technology, which protects surfaces 24 hours a day, eliminating up to 99.9% of bacteria.
Antibacterial performance became an essential part of this project, for which hygiene was a key requirement. This is why we used the material in all its forms and finishes on the floors, as well as in the building’s receptions and transit areas.
Arch. Maurizio Condoluci, Westway Architects
Premium-quality surfaces in a highly sustainable building
The Aréna Business Campus in Budapest is comprised of 72,000 sq m of offices: four buildings with an impressive interior garden and a pedestrian area that give the space a unique and relaxing atmosphere. In particular, the District VIII offices are located in one of the most significant business locations in the Hungarian capital and are among the most modern in the entire city. They are defined as “high-quality” spaces, an expression that embraces various concepts, including sustainability. The buildings combine a focus on reducing environmental impact with attention for quality of life thanks to the possibility of working in a regenerated and regenerating environment. All the structures in the complex, designed by the Vikár és Lukács Építész Stúdió firm and by the Interior Designers of Barbara Krizsan Design Studio, are BREEAM-certified, which means that excellent sustainable methodologies have been adopted for their construction.
Lea Ceramiche’s contribution
Concreto is the Lea Ceramiche collection chosen for the floors and walls of the entrance lobby. Thanks to the lighter colour, Concreto Light, and the darker shade, Concreto Dark, the collection created a modern and linear contrast between the soft brightness of the floors and the elegant dark grey of the walls. Inspired by the material that best symbolises modern architecture, concrete, it is an extremely tactile and contemporary series in which Lea Ceramiche’s hallmarks – attention to detail and an ability to interpret the demands of interior design – are fully and emphatically expressed. This true architectural surface enhances the sophisticated contemporary look and is well-suited to the style of the Aréna Business Campus.
Between nature and artifice: Lea Ceramiche’s high-performance surfaces for Hotel Milla Montis
Located in a small alpine village in South Tyrol, Milla Montis is a new hotel designed to blend in with the surrounding landscape and to constantly dialogue with the natural environment.
Conceived by Peter Pichler Architecture, the hotel is a tangible example of sustainable construction enhanced by a refined and contemporary design. The modern building features four staggered volumes characterised by black larch cladding and large curved cuts on the façades that create a close relationship between inside and outside, between artifice and nature.
In line with the project’s ecological concept, eco-friendly materials are used in all the spaces. For example, Lea Ceramiche’s Waterfall collection was chosen for the wall tiles, a ceramic product that realistically reinterprets slate, a natural stone. Made using only natural raw materials, with recycling of non-ceramic waste and scrap, thanks to heavy investment in the latest production technologies, it is a 100% eco-friendly material. In the Dark Flow colour, Waterfall covers the surfaces of bathrooms and spa areas, adding a natural and elegant touch; resistant and easy to clean, it is also distinguished by its Protect® antibacterial protection, which guarantees maximum hygiene of the spaces. In the 20 mm-thick version, which is stronger and more resistant, it covers the external areas, perfectly integrating with the formal language of the interior in line with the structure’s essential and minimalist style.
Hotel Milla Montis
Year of construction: 2020
Project: Studio Peter Pichler Architecture
Lea Ceramiche products used:
Waterfall, Dark Flow colour
UGL through-body porcelain stoneware
Thicknesses: 9.5 mm and 20 mm
Formats: 30×60 cm and 60×60 cm
Material and technical qualities coupled with the aesthetic values of Lea Ceramiche’s materials enter the 520 West 28th architectural complex, Zaha Hadid Architects’ first residential project in New York.
The collaboration with the prestigious London-based architecture firm is the latest of many partnerships between Lea Ceramiche and internationally renowned professionals. In recent years the company has worked with firms such as: Studio OMA (Rem Koolhaas with Chris van Duijn and Federico Pompignoli) for the Torre Prada Terrace; Stefano Boeri, Gianandrea Barreca and Giovanni La Varra for the Bosco Verticale; Fabio Novembre for Casa Milan: these important collaborations testify to the company’s ability to dialogue with high-end companies, as well as to the quality of its materials and to its extensive catalogue, which enables it to satisfy any style and technical efficiency requirements.
Located between the High Line and 28th Street, the architecturally striking building was designed to dialogue with the lively surrounding urban environment, the Chelsea neighbourhood in Manhattan. The eleven floors, which encompass a total of 39 apartments, each with its own identity and different viewpoints of the neighbourhood, feature a series of volumes that flow into each other, intertwining. The outer envelope, characterized by large glass windows and curved steel lines, is a clear hallmark of the style of the great architect, who won the Pritzker Prize and died prematurely in 2016. The innovative and modern design also distinguishes the building’s interiors, not only the futuristic, over 3 metre-high apartments designed by Jennifer Post Design and West Chin Architects, but also the 25-metre covered swimming pool, the IMAX cinema, the gym, the underground garage with a robotic system, and meticulously designed spaces that have made the futuristic building the new icon of the New York skyline.
Metropolis by Lea Ceramiche is the collection selected for the building’s Back of House areas. Presented in the Tokyo White colour, it creates surfaces with a neutral and bright colour; the series’ essential and contemporary style adapts very harmoniously to the setting, making the spaces airy and welcoming. Metropolis is also characterized by the special Protect antibacterial protection integrated in the material, which guarantees healthy, safe and protected environments, offering a perfect mix of aesthetic pleasure, quality, comfort, functionality and durability.
Project: 520 West 28th
Location: New York, United States
Project by: Zaha Hadid Architects
Year of completion: 2018
Lea Ceramiche products:
Design Research dept. Lea
UGL through-body stoneware
Tokyo White colour
Formats: 30x60cm; 60x60cm
With Protect antibacterial protection www.protect.panariagroup.it