Novoli, Firenze

As of 1935, Novoli was the chosen site for FIAT production activities firstly in the aeronautics sector, and later in the automobile industry. It was built between 1938 and 1939 on a project of engineer Vittorio Bonadè Bottino, consultant and director of the construction service in FIAT.

The factory was closed in the mid-1980s, and later was identified as a strategic point for relocation of some of the city’s functions. The objective was to create a new connection point between the historical centre and the suburbs, or rather between the consolidated city area and the outlying territory. The regeneration project involved demolishing some pre-existing structures, except for the power station, and building a multi-functional complex (involving university space, service companies, residential areas, management areas, and commercial businesses) with a large central park.

After workshops in the 1980s and the guideline plan by Leon Krier (1993-94), architects Gabetti & Isola drew up the recovery plan for the entire area. The public park, with its total surface area of about 12 hectares, is the hub of the project. Around it, 36 blocks will be developed, divided into 10 units separated into two sectors - east and west. The multi-functional building located to the east, at the crossing of Via Novoli and Via Forlanini, is the access way to the new district. It houses businesses, a multiplex cinema and fitness areas.

The residential project includes four buildings positioned around a public space with the ground floors allocated for commercial use. The layout is elaborated with variable height buildings on various sides of the city block, with double height porticoes,
loggias and aerial connections for covering passages. The fronts have a texture given by alternating terracotta surfaces with plaster, and on the highest floors, the structure becomes lighter with smaller floors placed more towards the rear of the building with loggias made of metal uprights. Roof terraces emerge from the inclined surfaces on the rooftops made of pre-oxidised copper.

Neri participated in the lighting design and furnishing project in Novoli by using ‘Light 106’ luminaire in the pedestrian walkways and ‘Light 34’ for streets with vehicle traffic. ‘Light 34’ luminaire were used for streets with vehicle traffic.