Italcementi I.Lab by Richard Meier & Partners

Building view from outside
The Italcementi I.Lab, design by Richard Meier & Partners, is the first LEED Platinum accredited building in Italy
(Image credit: TBC)

Richard Meier & Partners (opens in new tab)' new Italcementi (opens in new tab) I.Lab is one of the architecture (opens in new tab) practice's most sustainable designs - and the first building with LEED Platinum accreditation in Italy. The research and development centre is the latest addition to the empire of Italcementi, one of the five biggest cement and concrete producers globally.

Here, Meier's signature graceful, simple white forms are articulated (unsurprisingly) in concrete, cannily demonstrating the range of qualities the material can offer. The building's gleaming surface won't weather - this particular concrete 'is self-cleaning and therefore will always be white', the architect points out.

Designed to support the company's leading technological research and concrete innovation team, the building has a V-shaped layout, following the triangular site. This way, the technical and administrative wings - featuring high-performance custom facades - form a central outdoor space for the employees.

Addressing eco-issues such as water efficiency, energy (via photovoltaic panels, solar panels and geothermal wells) and sustainable materials and resources, the centre also includes conference rooms, a two-story multipurpose hall and an impressive top-lit cantilevered boardroom. The team paid special attention to the roof, treating it as a fifth façade. Here, a system of skylights brings natural light into the offices, labs and circulation space, also creating a playful perforation when seen from above.    

Richard Meier & Partners - led by Meier, Michael Palladino, James R Crawford, Bernhard Karpf, Reynolds Logan, Dukho Yeon - may have reached the grand age of 50 this year but it's showing no signs of slowing down. Among its works in the pipeline, we're particularly looking forward to seeing the practice's first project in South America - an office building in Leblon, Rio de Janeiro - reach its completion.

Building view from outside

Here, Meier's signature graceful, simple white forms are articulated (unsurprisingly) in concrete, cannily demonstrating the range of qualities the material can offer

(Image credit: TBC)

inside the building hallways

Designed to support the company's leading technological research and concrete innovation team, the building has a V-shaped layout, following the triangular site

(Image credit: TBC)

Inside the building wooden floors

Inside the building, white concrete surfaces are mixed with warm wooden floors and walls

(Image credit: TBC)

Building view from outside

Addressing eco-issues such as water efficiency, energy (via photovoltaic panels, solar panels and geothermal wells) and sustainable materials and resources, the centre also includes conference rooms, a two-story multipurpose hall and an impressive top-lit cantilevered boardroom

(Image credit: TBC)

Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture Editor at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018) and Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020).