In the renovation of this residential complex, Iris Ceramica Urban Active Surfaces® make the ventilated façades antibacterial and antiviral, anti-pollution, anti-odour and self-cleaning

Valentino Cento10 is a 60-apartment residential complex in the heart of Turin that, since the 1950s, has adorned the skyline of one of the city’s most beautiful avenues, opposite the Valentino Park. Recently subjected to a retrofitting project, cleverly balancing technological innovation and the respect for the building’s architectural heritage, the block was improved in terms of both energy and static efficiency and restored to its original beauty.

The renovation, focusing on the internal façades looking over the courtyard and those looking over the roads, was managed by the firm  Box Architetti led by Arch. Marco Aimetti, in charge of the architectural survey, the feasibility study, the architectural design and the works management. The initial surveys showed some cracks particularly in the infill walls, indicating a certain amount of surface movement and fragility. This critical issue, along with the desire to avoid distorting the building’s appearance and the need for non-invasive thermal insulation of the outer walls, led to the technical choices relating to the parts to be demolished and the materials to be used.

Box Architetti and the Granitech designers identified the best solution as ventilated façades, covered in porcelain stoneware and supported by a ‘hybrid’ structure with a two-fold function as a support for the slabs and to prevent the risk of damaging the existing infilling. Using the Granitech GHP system, with just one vertical element fixing the ceramic slabs with structural silicone and concealed safety clips, the walls are just 19 cm thick, including a 10 cm thick polyurethane insulating panel.

For the external cladding, the choice fell on the Active Surfaces® version of the porcelain stoneware surfaces Urban by Iris Ceramica. The modern design of the concrete materials, with their soft White nuances, make the façades shine in the sun, giving them a warmer and more natural appeal at dusk and during the night. The large formats, geometrical cuts and continuous joints of the slabs, aligned both horizontally and vertically with the architectural composition, exalt the rationality and geometrical rigour of the building to create a minimal, symmetrical aesthetic result.

For the retrofit, Box Architetti chose the intrinsic environmental value of the innovative eco-action materials Active Surfaces®. These surfaces contribute to human well-being, while respecting the environment, with their four major properties: antibacterial and antiviral (even against Covid-19), anti-pollution, anti-odour and self-cleaning. Certified to ISO standards and holding two European patents, these four properties last throughout the entire life cycle of the slabs. Thanks to the exposure to (natural or artificial) light and the humidity in the air, these materials are able to eliminate bacteria, viruses, fungi and mould. In the same way, they eliminate bad odours, prevent the formation of polluting particles and stop the dirt from sticking.

A synergy of competences assured a respectful approach to the existing Valentino Cento10 building, adapting it to current residential needs and legislative requirements. With the ventilated façades, the building has maintained its original architectural identity and the site has benefited not only in economic terms but also through the reduction of the amount of works required, the weights on the façade and the implementation times. The Iris Ceramica Urban White Active Surfaces® slabs also helped to enhance the appearance of the building and, with their superior properties, to continue to improve the air quality, protecting people’s health. Design and science come together to create pioneering solutions that serve human needs while fully respecting and protecting the environment.

Project: Valentino Cento10
Type: Residential building
Place: Turin, Italy
Year: 2023
Architecture firm: Box Architetti srl
Plant design: Proeco srl
Plant energy: Onleco srl
Structural design: Arching srl
Constructor: Secap S.p.A.
Distributor: Casaoikos S.p.A.
Active application: Ventilated façade
Distributor Brand: Iris Ceramica