“Ivrea - industrial city of the XX century” became the 54th UNESCO site located in Italy. The decision was taken during the 42 ° session of the World Heritage Committee of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. This is an important acknowledgment of a positive idea (about the possible “humanization” of industrial and social change and their potential compatibility with the well-being of local communities), which has been realized in Ivrea thanks to the technical skills of first-class professionals. The industrial city of Ivrea is an industrial and socio-cultural project of the Olivetti company, founded by Camillo Olivetti in 1908, which developed in stages from the 1930s to the late 1960s.
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Adriano Olivetti, distinguished by his ingenious foresight, wanted in practice to demonstrate the existence of an effective and practically feasible alternative to the industrial models prevailing at that time (and in particular the models of industrial architecture), which, in order to accumulate capital and create jobs, subordinated any decisions (including urban planning) to the needs of production, dramatically influencing urban planning, environment and social processes.
The industrial city of Ivrea is an outstanding example, both in the quality of the proposed solutions and in the methods of their implementation. A complex of buildings designed by famous Italian architects and urbanists of the 20th century is recognized as a monument; in the general urban development, it stands out for its rational and deeply thought-out design. The quarter, which not only fits perfectly, but also completed the urban planning, includes both purely industrial zones and buildings, as well as territories and buildings intended for social services and housing.
Among the industrial buildings, the heating plant of the architect Edoardo Vittoria (1959), the carpentry shop of the architect Ottavio Casho, where the original construction of 1927 (1956), the former Sertek building of the architect Ezio Zgrelli (1968) were used, became the real masterpieces of rationalist thought. , which housed the Olivetti engineering office for civil and industrial construction in Italy and abroad, and which was to clearly demonstrate the company's willingness to innovate. Among the housing stock, we note the Casa Popolare house in Borgo Olivetti, designed in 1939-1941. by architects Luigi Figini and Gino Pollini, the 18-apartment building Edificho-18-allogi, designed in 1956 by Marcello Nizzoli and Gian Mario Oliveri, as well as the later building Unita-Residence-Ovest (Talponia), designed by Robetro Gabetti and Aimaro Or 'Isola with Luciano Re in 1968-71.
Among the buildings of factory and urban social services, the Center for Social Services (Centro dei Servizi-Sochali) stands out, built by the aforementioned Luigi Figini and Gino Pollini (with the assistance of construction technologists Roberto Guiducci and Paolo Radona) in 1954-59 and, of course, for children. garden (Azilo-nido) in Borgo Olivetti, also built by architects Figini and Pollini. The interior was designed by the company's technical department, which was in those years headed by the architect Gian Antonio Bernasconi. The building (and the related playground) is still used as a children's institution belonging to the municipality of Ivrea, which is proof of the absolute functionality of the premises, created back in 1939.