Panaria Ceramica – Headquarter

Headquarter Finale Emilia

Further to the earthquakes on 20 and 29 May 2012, the Panaria Ceramica office building at Finale Emilia (Modena, Italy) was left seriously damaged, to the point where the owners decided to commission a large-scale renovation project. The project’s main aim was to consolidate the building and improve its earthquake-resistance by creating four large gantries, anchored to the existing load-bearing structures. The gantries were designed with a bolted steel grid structure and helped to raise the building’s safety level to 60% above the safety ratings required for a new building. The project uses ceramics to clad and conceal the gantries’ structural skeleton, anchored to a support system for ventilated curtain walls comprising a combination of 2 slabs of 100×300 cm, one 3 mm and the other 5 mm thick, with cavities in the edges to allow full concealment of the mounting system. This method creates a completely seamless, tactile outer surface. The entire project was created around the ceramic coverings used. In fact the size of the slimline slab (100 x 300 cm) decided the design module for the glazed curtain wall and the layout of the indoor spaces. The product was therefore used for a number of different purposes. Firstly, for sustainability, with the creation of ventilated surfaces, followed by functionality, screening the structure, and then for stylistic purposes, with its appearance setting the character of the entire project. Outdoors, ceramics were used not only to clad the walls but also as paving material. The area immediately outside the building consists of a lawn, crossed by raised paved pathways interspersed with box hedges and flowerbeds. Seats emerge from the lawn and the paving as monolithic blocks, clad with slimline ceramic slabs. The three main paths leading to the entrance are paved with outdoor ceramic tiles 2 cm thick. The combination of ceramic slabs and greenery is another of the project’s main themes. This theme is developed both at the base of the building, where the tiles create pathways and paved islands within the lawn areas, and on the main walls of the eastern elevation, which carry tall strips of greenery. Greenery also blends into the structure on the southern side. The three gantries, interconnected by horizontal grid structures, create large walkways, their parapets incorporating large planters with trailing plants. Since the building is the head office of Panaria Ceramica, in the interior the material is used in ways which express all its various potentials, displaying laying patterns, sizes and colours in a kind of large showroom. The floors on the ground floor are covered with slimline product in size 100×300 cm and Grigio Vivo colour from the Experience series, also used in the offices on the first and second floors but in a sub-multiple of the basic module (150×100 cm), to mirror the spacing of the windows and create the layouts for the various offices. The size used in the toilets is even smaller (100×100 cm) to provide a better fit with the reduced size of the spaces. The wall coverings consist of slimline slabs with decor tiles and trims. Also to display the product’s interior design scope, the reception counter and the furnishings of the toilets are finished with ceramic material, creating exquisite monolithic blocks. The building itself becomes a showcase for the product and its possible uses.

Video report


  • 636 m2 of glazing
  • 1088 m2 of ceramic façade
  • 1 showroom of 300 m2
  • 1 tennis court
  • 24 offices on 3 levels
  • 70 m2 of vertical greenery
  • 430 m2 of gardens
  • 30 different plant species
  • 2100 m2 of total area
  • 6 months completion time

Techincla Data Sheet