The building starts from the collaboration between Jo Coenen architects and Archisquare.
The building “S12” accommodates commercial activities and offices and it is part of the restoration plan of an ex-industrial area, whose masterplan is also designed by the same architects. It is located in a consolidated urban area at the south of the historical centre of Parma.
The building is constituted by a well-defined volume divided into two main architectural elements: a base containing shops and commercial activities and a top volume with office units. The ground floor is characterized by the glazing system, coherently with the concepts of transparency and permeability connected to the commercial activities; it is opposed to the opaque volume of the offices, which is visually independent from the base. The fronts are defined by a regular measure, alternating walls with fixed and sliding shutters, coloured in black and white in order to give a sense of movement and characterize the facade. To emphasize the horizontality of the building, each floor was defined by a projecting string-course, which allows to distinguish the different levels.
The office block is constituted by the intersection of two “L” shape volumes, which generate at their intersection a court that enlightens the interiors and is visible in the fronts: the void is alternated every two floors and adds depth to the volume. A glass roof overlooks the courtyard of the third and fourth floor, letting the light shine unexpectedly until the first floor. The second and fourth floors are connected with external transparent walkways, without interrupting the visual continuity in the center of the building. The building develops around the bright center of the courtyard.