Turin’s Automotive Architecture: Grattacielo Lancia

Der Grattacielo Lancia ist eines der höchsten Gebäude Turins. Bis 1969 war er Hauptsitz des italienischen Autoherstellers Lancia.

The 70 metre tall, Lancia ‘Skyscraper’ was built in Turin’s San Paolo district in 1964. The main offices of Lancia were housed within and surrounded by the company’s warehouses and production facilities. The building is now in private hands and is used as offices and apartments. Until recently, the building proudly displayed its impressive ‘LANCIA’ lettering on the roof top.

The building with the green and yellow façade was, until recently, found on the opposite side of the ex-Lancia complex on Via Monginevro. The building was demolished in 2010 to make way for new real estate developments.

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Text und Bilder: Simon Grand


Turin’s Automotive Architecture: Bertone Grugliasco & Pininfarina Grugliasco

Die beiden ehrwürdigen Autofabriken der beiden traditionsreichsten Turiner Carrozzieri Bertone und Pininfarina in Grugliasco gibt es so nicht mehr. Simon hat für uns ein paar letzte Eindrücke der heiligen Hallen mit den großen Namen zusammengestellt …

Bertone: 1957 saw an expanding company struggling with greatly increasing production volumes. Construction work began in Grugliasco on the outskirts of Turin for a new plant which opened in 1959 with a workforce exceeding 500. By 1970 Bertone had a workforce of 1500 and the Grugliasco factory covered an area of 267,000 sq.m. Some of the last models made at the factory were the Fiat Punto Cabrio, Opel Astra Coupè and Astra Cabrio. In 2009, the Grugliasco plant with its manufacturing activities was taken over by the FIAT group and is destined to return to the production of automobiles under the name “Officine Automobilistiche Grugliasco”.

Pininfarina: Construction of the Pininfarina Grugliasco complex started in 1956, to be completed two years later. The ‘Centro Studi e Ricerche’ was inaugurated in the same complex in 1966. In 2009 part of the Grugliasco site was taken over by the local authorities and is destined to begin production of the re-born De Tomaso brand in the near future. Pininfarina still owns and operates the advanced aerodynamics and aero-acoustics research centre which was inaugurated in Grugliasco in 1972.

Weitere Posts zu Turin’s Automotive Architecture findet ihr hier und hier

Text und Photos: Simon Grand


Turin’s Automotive Architecture: Torino Esposizioni

Im südlichen Stadtteil der piemontesischen Hauptstadt – im San Salvario am Corso Massimo d’Azeglio – befindet sich das von Pier Luigi Nervi entworfene Messegelände Torino Esposizioni.

Torino Esposizioni was designed in the mid 1940’s and situated beside the Valentino park just outside the centre of Turin. The characteristic design of the vast, arched roof has served as an effective back drop to many new car launches. Designed from the outset to be a flexible space to host commercial fairs, it was home to the Turin Motor Show from 1948 to the early 1980’s.

Die Aufnahmen entstanden im Rahmen der Ausstellung ‘Dream. L’auto del futuro dal 1950′ im Jahre 2008.

Text und Photos: Simon Grand


Turin’s Automotive Architecture: Lingotto

Simon nimmt uns mit auf eine Reise zur automobilen Architektur in Turin. Wir starten natürlich mit dem Lingotto. Die ehrwürdige alte Fiatfabrik mit der berühmten Teststrecke auf dem Dach ist mittlerweile zu einem Wahrzeichen der Stadt geworden.

Many words have been written about Turin’s relationship with the automobile but significantly fewer written about the legacy and memories that live on. Thanks to a rich and fruitful history, both in cultural and industrial terms, Italy’s legendary automotive capital is an emotional place of automotive dreams for car enthusiasts the world over. The seemingly impossible equilibrium between traditional, ‘hand made’ craftsmanship and the international, mass-producing power of automotive industry giants has become fundamental to a large, bustling city that plays an invaluable role in the nation’s economy.

To consider Turin simply as a ‘motor city’ does not do it justice, recognition should instead stem from the fact that it represents a concentration of know-how in the development and construction of automobiles. With entrepreneurs, designers, engineers, and craftsman is where the true spirit of the industry can be found, relentless dedication to advancing the state of the art led to this pioneering force in the automotive field. Turin was host to Italy’s first ever motor racing event in 1895, (the “Turin–Asti-Turin”), perhaps setting a trend and provoking the passion and enthusiasm of constructors, participants and spectators alike. Despite Turin’s ongoing mission to remain at the forefront of industry, constantly evolving as the industrial climate demands, it has also opened its doors to the world with international cultural and sporting events, promoting a more cosmopolitan atmosphere. Open minded and with a fresh new outlook, it would be a great shame if the contemporary Turin failed to promote or remind its visitors of its automotive legacy. With these new developments helping to increase the city’s international profile it is hoped that the architectural remains, many changed or transformed into something else, of the glory years of the automobile do not go unnoticed, as with a little searching there is still much to be seen and many stories to be told.

Construction of the Fiat Lingotto complex was started in 1915 and continued up until 1930, although the inauguration of the building took place in 1922, in the presence of the Italian King. The building represented a significant advance in construction techniques using reinforced concrete and produced many models from the Fiat model range. Automotive production ceased in the early 1980’s and an architectural competition to convert the Lingotto factory was won by Renzo Piano in 1985. Lingotto is now a commercial shopping complex, congress centre and auditorium. It also houses the art collection of the Agnelli family in the “Pinacoteca Agnelli” which can be found ‘hovering’ above the roof-top test track which is still accessible to the public.

Text und Photos: Simon Grand


Fondation Vasarely – Aix en Provence

Simon Grand hat uns poppige optische Effekte von Victor Vasarely aus Südfrankreich mitgebracht:

As an experience the Fondation Vasarely is all-embracing. The building provides the perfect setting in which to appreciate the work of one of the protagonists of the 1960’s ‘op-art’ movement.

“When internationally acclaimed artist Victor Vasarely imagined the “Cité polychrome du Bonheur” (“Polychromatic City of Happiness”), he imagined a centre that would bring together urban planners, architects and artists. In 1966, Vasarely established a Foundation to promote his ideas of “art for all” and of the “city of tomorrow”, a city in which art harmoniously blends with architecture. “Our existence is driven by two major forces: renewal and preservation. While the world advances from the past into the future, as individuals, we travel from the future into the past … this is our tragedy.”

Fondation Vasarely

Zitate: Fondation Vasarely
Photos: Simon Grand