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Protoshop Lamborghini


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dmadsen, hanley wood, llc

Project Name

Protoshop Lamborghini


Via Modena, 12 – 40019 Sant’Agata

Project Status


Year Completed



5,000 sq. meters


Automobili Lamborghini Spa


  • Luca Bernardoni





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Project Description


The major choices involved in the building project of the “Prototypes and Pre-series” division of luxury sports car manufacturer “Lamborghini” of Sant'Agata Bolognese, were based first and foremost on the required technical and industrial functions. Protoshop was created with the intention of fully performing its industrial and technical functions: basic elements, such as the linearity of the structure and the muscular character of the building corresponded perfectly to the desire to convey the innovation and technology of the Bologna car manufacturer. The functional character of this structure thus gives space to a meaning of technological modernity, which can already be noticed on the outer façade of the building, enhanced by the Lea Slimtech slabs. The same functionality has also led to a saving of energy: the thermal insulation system of the division, together with the reduction in electrical energy consumption, was created thanks to a series of interventions ranging from installing a layer of insulation material around the entire building, to the triple-glazed windows in polycarbonate. A combination of design details which have been used skilfully to considerably improve the energy efficiency of the building: protection for the environment and lower operational costs for the company.

Autonomous operation and state-of-the-art technology thus become key elements of the Protoshop: the superstructure of the building, in fact, shows a combination of innovative and competitive values which are of central importance to Lamborghini and its partners.

The new Lamborghini Protoshop building covers an area of around 5,000 square meters in 2 storeys above ground, with ceilings reaching a height of 16 m in accordance with the regulations for the maximum building height.

On the ground floor there are generous working areas such as the Laboratory, the R&D equipment room and the Warehouse, in addition to a smaller area referred to as the 'Truschino', where the components to be assembled on the automobiles are analysed and from which it is possible to directly access both the laboratory and the warehouse.

On the north-facing side, there are some smaller working areas with multiple functions: deposit, the area for performing the 'Water test' (on fully assembled cars) and the offices.
Above these spaces, an intermediate storey with a balcony houses the administrative area made up of offices of different sizes and 2 meeting rooms. The east-facing and north-facing sides of the building can be accessed respectively from two entrances on the east-facing wall. Both entrances are illuminated with natural daylight and consist of a staircase and lift which lead to the upper storeys of the building.

The layout of the first floor is analogous to that of the ground floor; also here there are large working areas for the creation of and final adjustments to the vehicles (the Laboratory and the Electrician's area), as well as smaller rooms used as offices, arranged along the north-facing side of the building. Above the latter, there is another intermediate area for managerial activities, this time arranged along the south-facing side.

On the west-facing side, there is a patio which can support the weight of vehicles and forms a bridge with another block, 13 m in height, which is linked to the main building. In addition to a safety ladder and a utility room for the fire hydrant valves, this element houses a small depot for tyres and two lifts which allow vehicles to be lifted up to the first floor. This volume completes its function as a utility element, and houses all the machinery needed to guarantee the heating and cooling of the various rooms of the building.

When designing the building, customer’s needs were taken into account in compliance with laws and constraints, and efforts were made, whilst maintaining the simplicity of the design, to bring out the distinctive elements of the Lamborghini brand through the appropriate use of the corporate colours and trend. The essential shapes, muscular character and lines with sharp corners form, in fact, the basis of the architectural idea which transforms a simple industrial space into a work of architecture with a strong identity.

The structure was built in accordance with the provisions of the anti-seismic laws in force (Ministerial Decree 14.01.2009). The prefabricated multi-storey structure consists of pillars in reinforced concrete, beams in pre-stressed reinforced concrete and level floors. Horizontal movements are absorbed mostly by 3 rigid units in reinforced concrete which house the staircases, lifts and car lifts. The foundations are laid on site on sunken piles with a large diameter which reach a depth of 24m. On the first floor, the need to dig holes with a depth of 40 cm for the insertion of the auto lifts led to the use of an igloo system (generally used on the ground floor) which made it possible to increase the thickness of the floor without weighing down the structure to an excessive degree.

The building is able to lower the CO2 emissions in the air by almost 33 thousand kilos per year and reduce energy consumptions by over 53 thousand kWh annually: an improvement in energy efficiency which far exceeds the requirements set forth by law 1362/2010. The energy saving which places the building in Class A was achieved by installing a layer of insulation around each single part of the structure, starting from the foundations to the roofing. The choice of materials for the wall covering was made with view to achieving maximum energy efficiency with first-class products bearing the Made in Italy label.

The building is tiled with Lea Slimtech slabs, in the oversize format measuring 3 metres by 1 metre with a thickness of just 3 mm. When fixed to a specially made structure at an appropriate distance from the wall, in addition to covering the insulating layer of rockwool (with a thickness of 14 cm), these slabs guarantee micro-ventilation which further improves the level of comfort inside the building.

The large transparent façades of the “Protoshop”, unlike a normal glazed wall, are able to guarantee the correct amount of sunlight whilst maintaining the privacy which is typical of a prototype department. A level of thermal efficiency is thus obtained which no common type of door or window frames can achieve. This was made possible by the use of special walls in triple-layer polycarbonate with a double air chamber. On the more exposed sides of the building, these were fitted with filters which reduce the refraction of the sun's rays, thus avoiding excessive brightness inside the work areas which might disturb the workers.
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