The project recalls images of fortified towns and reshapes place rather than align buildings.

Project data

  • Status
  • Year
  • Tipology
    Multipurpose complex
  • Location
    Modena, Italy
  • Client
    Comune di Modena, Italy
  • Budget
    128 million € (adjusted to 2013)
  • Total Area/Surface/Volume
    104.000 sq m
  • Awards
    International Competition: winning project


The Municipality of Modena had announced a competition to assign an undeveloped area to third parties to be transformed for commercial or industrial purposes.

The site, of around 100,000 square metres, is near to the historical city centre and well connected to Modena and to other infrastructures by an important road system.

The project treats the theme elevating it from a matter of pure real estate speculation to a matter of architecture: the establishment proposed is presented as a “New Town”, a “planned” community similar in its structure to many fortified towns of Italy.

In the centre of the town is a great free central surface: the project’s “green heart”.
Along the “walls”, which enclose the large green areas and which contain parking garages (at a quota of 3.50), there are the buildings to host industrial activities and offices.

Along the y-axis of the project are positioned buildings, each with a distinct architectural language and comparable to the “gates” of the citadel: the buildings have an “urban” aspect characterised by facades in light stone, organised by lines of large regular windows.

(Ermanno Ranzani)



Mario Bellini Architects

Design Team
Mario Bellini. With Giovanni Cappelletti

Project Team
Giovanni Cappelletti (project architect). With Federico Spadini, Alessandro Zufferli (3D model and render image), Maurizio Di Lauro (Model)

Urban Planning:
Studio di Architettura Tiziano Lugli, Modena
Social and urban study:
Università degli studi di Reggio Emilia
Facoltà di Ingegneria di Modena
Mechanical services consultants:
I.S. Ingegneria & Servizi s.r.l., Ingegneri Riuniti s.r.l., Politecnica Engineering
SATA. Applicazioni Tecnologiche Avanzate s.r.l, Modena
Mario Bellini Architects
Luigi Modellato, Milano