Safeguarding the environment as well as researching and experimenting materials were the objectives underlying the Primat renovation project. Primat specializes in researching solutions for redeveloping historic buildings, especially through the use of natural materials. Delrosso’s project encompassed the building’s entrance, the offices and the showroom.
Entirely covered in machined wood with horizontal foil, which creates a bris soleil effect, the external façade is a perfect example of the usage of natural materials, which allow for an esthetic lightness and serve to create forms centered on thickness and depth. The objective of reducing materic weight to increase lighting was entrusted to the entrance and the iron-framed windows. Of these, a particularly large one protrudes from the architectural whole while the others, ribbon windows, are more internal. Covered in African Tec wood, the façade evidences the use of several elements: Poroton bricks, plaster toward the interior, cork surfaces and a black sheath on the exterior that amplifies the perspective of depth immediately obvious when observing the façade.
A long, narrow and illuminated pathway leads to the entrance as though the path were the ideal horizontal extension of the ribbon windows on a vertical plane, emphasizing the architect’s constant attention to formal and structural detail. Characterized by the pale tones of the walls, the resin flooring and abundant natural light, the interior is dominated by a transparent wall toward the production area and the stairway that leads to the showroom on the upper floor. Made of iron and independent of the supporting structure, the stairway is sustained by steel pins. It becomes a unifying element that harmonizes with the concept of airiness and transparency that governs the entire project.
The shell of this rectangular building covering 350 square metres functions like the visiting card of Primat, a company specialising in solutions for historical building refurbishment, noted for its application of natural materials and its high-profile research work. The inquiry into this compact volume, with its assertive windows and entrance and forceful materials, made it possible to dovetail the client’s intentions and the architect’s personal vision of his work, starting with the composition of the building envelope itself.
The shell is entirely composed of Poroton brick, which is plastered on the inside and covered in cork, while the outside is coated in a black air-permeable sheath, a choice that allows for natural thermal regulation. This is then clad in fine African Teak expressed in horizontal laths, producing a sun-louvre effect. Set into the main frontage is a huge window with a slightly protruding frame to the left of a deeply recessed entrance, and overhead a strip window set slightly shy of the façade, a motif echoed in the narrow glazed walkway, which is illuminated at dusk, creating a glowing threshold that endorses the angular geometry of the entire building.