A world leader in artificial intelligence and self-driving vehicles, Vislab began as a University of Parma start-up company. A new headquarters building was enquired following its acquisition by the multinational, Ambarella,, with Ergodomus (in partnership with a building contractor) successful in the competition for its design and construction. Cost proved to be an important factor, requiring a highly innovative solution to ensure the new building could be constructed within the available budget, a challenge made more complicated by its seismic zone location (Parma).
The 3.5 storey building is entirely made from CLT and Glulam. The 8m-span, T-shaped floor slabs are a hybrid of these two engineered timber products, prefabricated offsite using variably spaced screws to save time and money. Building services run through the webs, enabling reductions in slab thickness and weight and avoiding the use of a concrete screed. A Glulam bracing system sits behind the glazed facade with elastomers permitting movement between the two. 14cm thick recyclable cork panels are used to form the building’s external cladding. Building assembly took just four weeks.