The project addressed the need to expand the campus of the Faculty of Engineering to include a new building to accommodate the Innovation Division and provide extra space to the Division of Advanced Mechanical Engineering.
The site, which lies to the south-east of the historic centre of Modena, already featured a number of university buildings that offered accommodation to the Faculty of Engineering.
The new building for the Innovation Division is composed of two interconnected volumes, each comprising two above-ground levels. Specifically, it is possible to distinguish a compact, monolithic structure, which houses the physics labs, and a “lighter”, more composite volume which accommodates the non-heavy structures labs, teaching rooms and study areas. This second volume terminates in another compact façade, although in this case the overall effect is lightened by a vertical row of windows, which splits the otherwise solid wall.
The two volumes meet in a glazed section, which houses the entrance to the Tecnopolo but also marks the fulcrum around which the main volumes of the structure might appear to rotate like the hands of a clock. The building thus forms an L. The north side continues the row of porticoes that characterises the existing buildings, while the offset of the wing housing the physics labs forms an additional waiting and seating area overlooking the piazza.
The layout of the longer volume is simple: the entrances and rooms face a central corridor which has a stairway at each end providing access to the other floors.