Fiat Lingotto Building, Torino, Italy

Matté Trucco
Date Built
1916 - 1923
This amazing building was, when it was completed for the Fiat company, the world's largest car factory.  Apparently, raw materials entered the building at ground level and the production line spiraled up through five floors ......

and culminated in a roof-top test circuit.

It was an early example of the use of modular construction in reinforced concrete, based on the repetition of three elements: pillars, beams and floors.

By the 1970s the factory was becoming outdated and it finally closed in 1982 leaving something of a dilemma as to the future of such a large building.  After a competition commissioned by Fiat, the challenge of redeveloping it was awarded to Renzo Piano Building Workshop.  The architect's website explains that as a result, "The building’s exterior remains largely unaltered, but its interior was completely modified in order to accommodate an exhibition centre, a conference centre and auditorium, two hotels, offices and retail space. In 1997, Fiat group’s management headquarters returned to the office block. ...

... In 2002, Turin Polytechnic’s automotive engineering department was also installed in the building."

One of the two NH Hotels can be seen below ..

On the roof of Piano's refurbished building are two new features.  In the image below you can see the art gallery on the left and the "Bubble" on the right.

The Pinacoteca Agnelli is housed  in a metal structure known as the "scrigno" or "chest" (see below).  Inside is an attractive well lit art gallery that displays an extraordinary collection of artwork owned by Gianni and Marella Agnelli.  Gianni was the former chairman of Fiat.  The collection includes Picassos, Canalettos, Bellottos and seven masterpieces by Matisse.  Below the art gallery there is a temporary exhibitions space, a center for art education, a reference library, offices and a bookshop.

At the other end of the roof is a structure that reminds you of the Starship Enterprise comprising a green glass bubble and a helicopter landing pad.  The bubble was originally designed as a meeting room.

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