Building
Fiat Works
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Architect Giaccomo Matte-Trucco
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Location Turin, Italy   map
Date 1920 to 1923   timeline
Building Type factory and test track
Climate mediterranean
Context urban
Style Modern
Notes Auto test track on roof of building.
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Drawings

 

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Discussion Fiat Works Commentary

“…this vast, five-storey, reinforced concrete industrial loft is still in use. The five floors are ordered sequentially to provide for (1) maintenance and motor testing (2) engine machining and body assembly, (3) gear box and differential steering, (4) spraying, upholstering, suspension and differential steering, (5) lorry production and (6) testing. This last takes place in the open air, on the roof where a banked reinforced concrete racetrack has been provided, on an area measuring 1680 feet by 260 feet. At the ends the banking to this track rises some 15 feet in 55 feet and this activation of the roof, together with its highly sculptural form was to inspire Le Corbusier’s conception of the roofscape for his Unité apartment block built at Marseilles in 1952.”

“…this is a pioneering work in the application of reinforced concrete construction to an industrial plant. It was designed significantly enough by a naval engineer. Accommodating some 6,000 workers in 16,000,000 square foot of floor space, it was an undertaking of unprecedented size. From a structural point of view, however, the most remarkable innovation was the helicoidal car ramps at either end of the block which were braced by an extremely elegant system of reinforced concrete ribs, a system which in retrospect recalls the theoretical projects of de Baudot and seems to anticipate the later realizations of Pier Luigi Nervi, such as his Gatti Wool factory built at Rome in 1953.”

— Kenneth Frampton and Yukio Futagawa. Modern Architecture 1851-1945. p195.

Resources
Sources on Fiat Works

Kenneth Frampton. Modern Architecture 1851-1945. New York: Rizzoli International Publications, 1983. photo of aerial view, p195.

Werner Hofmann and Udo Kultermann. Modern Architecture in Color. New York: The Viking Press, 1970. LC 72-125823. NA642.H6413. transverse section drawing, p233. intermediate section drawing, plate 45, p230. section drawing through the north corner, plate 45, p230. plan drawing of north end of car testing track on roof, p229.

Dennis Sharp. Twentieth Century Architecture: a Visual History. New York: Facts on File, 1990. ISBN 0-8160-2438-3. NA680.S517. exterior photos, p73.

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