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A project by Archea Studio Asssociato d’Architettura for Fiandre.
Via G. Reni, 2/R – 42014 Castellarano (RE)
Open: 8:30 – 12:30 / 14:30 – 18:30

Through the renovation of a substantial portion of the outdoor area next to the FAB space at company headquarters, Fiandre rewrites the rules for outdoor projects, attributing a key role to the relationship between man and nature.

FAB OUTDOOR is not a mere display project, but a model that integrates local natural resources and technological innovations to favour a genuine enhancement in the quality of life of users of the space.

It was appropriate, therefore, that in selecting materials for the project, Fiandre made a “zero mileage” choice, appointing Archea Studio of Castellarano, a reliable company that sets great store by analysis of the relationship with the surroundings, the sense of belonging to a place and innovation as much as environmental sustainability and social impact.

The collaboration between Fiandre and Archea was as seamless as a flawlessly executed concerto for piano four hands: Archea studied Fiandre's need to showcase products that offer outstanding performance in just 2 cm of thickness plus all the related new applications specifically for outdoor spaces, and devised a project in which technology and nature coexist in absolute harmony, becoming a single entity.

In recent years, growing concern over environmental matters has enabled us to rediscover a certain respect, awareness and harmony with nature, prompting us to rediscover long-lost feelings, the smell of clean air, the flavour and taste of food, the colours of a terse sky, the freshness of water. This is the very source of our originality, just as we are original in creating food from the land, so must we be original in our use of material, using creativity and awareness, seeing ourselves in “its” beauty and harmony.
Often in the choice of a building preferential consideration is given to aesthetics and the eclectic design of the project, overlooking functionality, flexibility and above all the story that the building is obliged to and wishes to tell.
The project presented for Fiandre, divided into distinct and consecutive areas by its clean, essential design, explores this sincere and curious relationship between man, who manipulates nature, and nature itself, with its simplicity, its history.

Il Giardino delle Naiadi (The Garden of the Naiads) symbolises those who inhabit the earth without being contaminated. The world of aquatic plants, a fascinating and primordial place, a mythological environment that the ancient Greeks imagined as inhabited by young maidens, the Naiads, nymphs who presided over rivers and streams, marshes, lakes and springs; benevolent creatures credited with healing those who bathed in the water over which they presided. Water takes its best form, splashing and gushing in the fountain, babbling and cooling, meditating and relaxing in the ponds, becoming one with nature in the natural pool. The Garden of the Naiads strengthens the atavistic bond that ties man to water, offering an emotional prompt to return to nature.

Il Meleto (The Apple Orchard) is the area dedicated to the apple tree as a symbol of integrity, pureness, goodwill and knowledge. A tree that yields fruit that can be enjoyed all year round and wood that can be used to make tools. The orchard is planted with rennet and campanina apple varieties, signalling the rebirth of heritage apples that had virtually disappeared from the local area.

Il Vigneto (The Vineyard) is the area dedicated to grape vines, symbol of immortality, prosperity, fertility and beauty in life. In ancient times wine, the essence of grapes, was considered the nectar of the gods and a symbol of strength, of the ability to adapt and transform. Growing green and red grapes reminds man of his origins in this region of Emilia.

L’Uomo al centro del mondo (Man at the centre of the world) is the “built environment” at the centre of the project and it represents how Man is the measure of all things; harmony and perfection are to be found in this indoor-outdoor space with glazed walls that create an exciting relationship with the natural landscape, bringing the outdoors in.

[R. Nicolini, G. Calzolari / Archea Studio Associato d’Architettura]

FAB OUTDOOR, conceived as a project that integrates sustainability and pioneering technology, proposes a wide range of solutions for outdoor spaces created with 2 cm thick Fiandre surfaces inspired by stone, concrete and wood. The Fahrenheit and New Stone collections, in the 120x60 and 60x60 cm sizes, are used for the main paths, with a dry-laid raised flooring system produced by the Granitech division of GranitiFiandre. This system not only offers top performance in terms of airtightness and ease of replacement of ceramic slabs, but can be completed with additional accessories designed in partnership with Italian companies of renowned expertise.

The partnership between Fiandre and Magister Energy Engineering, a company with twenty years' experience in the renewable energy sector, proved fruitful, culminating in heat-generating ceramic surfaces. Two proposals are installed as part of FAB OUTDOOR: in one case Fiandre ceramic slabs are laid directly on the Effetto Sole TTI* radiant electric heating system exclusively for dry installation; in the second case, a support for 60x60 cm ceramic slabs has been developed, comprising of a pre-wired frame on adjustable supports for raised floors.

*Effetto Sole TTI differs from traditional systems mainly because it converts electric energy into infrared radiation, with a conversion yield of nearly 97%. The infrared waves travel through the space of the given area and hit the walls, floors, ceilings, furniture, and the people present, increasing their temperature. All the heated masses increase the climatic comfort and reduce the degree of absorbed humidity and the level of energy wasted with traditional thermal exchange systems. In addition, the real revolution is the integration of the “intelligent” controller with algorithm which delivers energy savings and preserves the overall environmental integrity.

This innovative heating system can be installed in indoor as well as outdoor spaces (e.g. outdoor seating areas), in floors, ceilings, walls and within furnishings; highly flexible, it is minimally invasive within the construction process of new builds and renovations.
Effetto Sole TTI multiplies the overall efficiency of the heating system, installation and management time and costs are very modest, energy consumption is cut, response time to climatic variations is faster, it is eco-friendly and increases mental and physical wellbeing.

FAB OUTDOOR delivers other surprises in terms of innovative uses created with Fiandre outdoor surfaces.

Lighting is an essential element for guaranteeing optimum use of outdoor spaces. Taking this requirement into account, Fiandre turned to Labo-Cer Srl, a well-established company in the ceramic district of Emilia which presents the PHAOS GRES line of luminous step-markers made with ceramic slabs.
Installation is extremely simple: each Phaos Gres element houses a LED strip that is connected to the next piece and so on, so the power supply only needs to be connected at the start and end of the application area. In addition to the reduced energy consumption of the LEDs, each Watt is directed at the path, reducing upwards light dispersion. Phaos Gres can illuminate a garden of 200 m² with just 100 Watts, practically the same energy consumption of a single traditional spotlight. The 12 V power supply earns the product an IP65 rating, making these elements safe for installation in outdoor and poolside areas.
The special trims are easily integrated and removed on bonded or dry-laid flooring systems on raised floors, on grass and on gravel. As well as being far more aesthetically pleasing than everyday integrated floor lighting systems, Phaos Gres is a flexible project with easy installation and maintenance, which allows the use of a number of light fittings in proportion to the floored area and guarantees optimum visibility on paths, pavements and terraces in semi-darkness and areas without natural or artificial lighting.

In order for a project to be truly comprehensive, in addition to fulfilling the functions for which it was designed, it must also be visually gratifying to the user. Fiandre takes care of that too, revealing the preconceived notion that ceramic surfaces for outdoors can only be used for floors to be unfounded. Thus, 2 cm thick surfaces also become urban furniture, like benches and seats, plus functional and highly stylish architectural elements like sun louvres.

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