The building, now hosting the Ferrero Research Centre, was originally an XVII-century silk factory, or 'Filanda'. It was a pivotal economic and productive centre in the city of Alba and was renovated multiple times thoughout the centuries. The Filanda was acquired by Ferrero S.p.A. in the latter part of the XX century and originally used as a warehouse.
The project consisted in the heavy refurbishment of the original building, composed by three rectangular three-storey blocks arranged perpendicularly to form an open court. The three blocks of the Filanda are located on different and independent levels, each with its own vertical distribution system. One of the great challenges of the project has therefore been to design four new sets of stairs that could serve each time two of the blocks. The original building was otherwise brought back to its original look, maintaining its historical architectural features, such as brick vaults, floors, walls and decorated façades.
Besides the office spaces, a conference room (600 sq. metres) has been designed in the basement of the internal court. Mobile panels allow the room to have different configurations, adapting the space to several purposes (smaller receptions, parallel conferences, concerts). All vertical surfaces are covered in oak, fulfilling the acoustic requirements.
A suspended walkpath gives the external access to the building from a square on the southern side, while a wide staircase allows access to the lower courtyard. This space works as a foyer, partly opened and partly closed, for the conference room.
The project is completed with the connection of the two parallel blocks of the Filanda through a glass hall, closing the internal courtyard. This scenographic element also works as the main entrance to the building. It is realised with structural glass and sustained by metal pillars and tie-beams, and includes a suspended footpath and several meeting spaces.