Architect Lorena Alessio was in charge of the Canale Vigolungo Showroom&Offices project, an experimental project exploring the potential of poplar plywood for prefabricated structures.
laa‘s research led to the design of a new construction joint – called PoplyHouse – intended to bring significant advantages in dry construction.
laa has adopted the new joint for the construction of a 160sqm building, intended to house a large exhibition space and the offices of the Italian company E. Vigolungo S.p.A.
For the project, the starting point was the consideration that poplar is a material that has many advantages, which is why the use of a new joint without screws, but only with an interlocking system, was proposed during the experimental phase.
Canale Vigolungo Showroom&Offices is therefore a project that addresses the issues of technological innovation combined with sustainable architecture, which aims to develop a building whose sustainability is maintained during all phases of the life cycle: from the production phase to the assembly phase.
“The other experimentation carried out during this project” explains architect Alessio, “was to bring everything into prefabrication, including the floor slab and cladding walls. To do this, boxes were made with a plywood base and roof and filled with wood fibres and beams so that they became load-bearing. In this way, we had a dust-free construction site and everything was prefabricated for both the floor and the interior cladding”.
The building is high-tech and offers a very comfortable interior atmosphere, as well as allowing a strong connection with the outside, through the views of the green and hilly areas. Between the structural portals, a ‘wall-library’ divides showroom and offices, defining a visual continuity of materials and geometries.
There is also another experiment with a poplar plywood floor and a series of boiseries that closes and divides the showroom into different rooms.
The external cladding is all made of heat-treated poplar and is therefore resistant to humidity and rain.
At E. Vigolungo has already begun a new assignment to architect Alessio for the construction of a two-storey, 800-square-metre office building, with work scheduled to start in July 2023. Here, the new challenge will be to experiment with a two-storey building with a load-bearing structure of poplar plywood.
For more information visit www.lorenaalessio.com.