Opificio Golinelli


Design: diverserighestudio (Simone Gheduzzi, Nicola Rimondi, Gabriele Sorichetti).
Design team: Francesco Abenante, Marco Bergamo, Marco Ciavatti, Irene Cogliano, Emanuele Dionigi, Alberto Zanelli.
Location: Via Paolo Nanni Costa n.14, Bologna, Italy.
Client: Fondazione Golinelli.
Photographs: Giovanni Bortolani.

Fondazione Golinelli promotes the responsible cultural growth of citizens in all fields of knowledge. One of the most important aims is to provide young people with the orientation and tools required for an innovative and competitive future in an increasingly globalized, complex, multicultural and unpredictable world.

The aim of the project is to educate people about the scientific aspects of art and the artistic intuition of science, bringing out their affinities in a perspective oriented toward the implementation of creative thinking. The Opificio is seen in terms of a citadel metaphor in which all the activities take on the form of ideal containers, icons of symbolic places in our urban environment, like the City Hall, the School, the Worksite, which represent the ongoing work required by a city for its life. Then there is public space, ready to host multiple activities and functions, to sustain social life by means of shared services. The result is an architecture with an intimate dimension – connected with the study and work that happens inside the ideal containers – and a relational system positioned at the connections between the activities.

Conceptual diagrams

Aggregation diagrams

This character of openness led to the design of a space with a local exterior that is contextualized – the renovation of an existing industrial building – and a global interior that is interconnected with the world through open work modes, built according to three generating principles to encourage study and experimentation:

– the strategy of the unfinished: this calls for the non-occupation of the entire available internal space, allowing the Opificio to be flexible over time, since the development of the facility is not predictable.

– the architectural paradox: the idea is to contrast the vision of scientific study, accustomed to using tools that permit enlargement of a particular, infinitely small element, with a more conceptual vision, towards the sky, the infinitely large.

– architectural synesthesia: to imagine an architecture that, in addition to being an ideal container for study and research, can also be an ideal setting for artistic display, simultaneously responding to two educational needs.


The Opificio has been praised by critics as an example of a regenerated industrial facility, a fertile place for scientific experimentation and social innovation. In fact, looking at these places inside urban development means forecasting the major themes of research on the complex city, redefining the meaning of “state of abandon” and permitting a reinterpretation that includes such spaces. It represents a shift from negative meaning to project meaning, as a social and cultural catalyst: an opportunity for the metamorphosis of uses and spaces which, once rethought, come back to life through a process of recycling what already exists.

Structural engineering: Lanfranco Laghi.
Mechanical engineering: studio Zambonini.
Electrical engineering: studio Palerma.
Cost accounting: studio BG.
Environmental and sound engineering: studio Airis.
General contractors: S.A.P.A.B.A spa.
Total area: 9,000 sqm.
Built area: 4,500 sqm.