Presentation of the project to restore the Olivetti Complex as the location of the new Ivrea Hospital

Ivrea, April 29, 2022 – The study for the restoration of the Olivetti Complex as the location of the new Ivrea Hospital was presented today. The feasibility study was conducted by a team led by Professor Stefano Capolongo of the Polytechnic of Milan for Prelios SGR, which – as manager of the Anastasia real estate fund – owns the historic Palazzo Uffici site that was formerly the property of the Olivetti company.

The presentation of the project to the mayors and community of Ivrea and the Canavese district was attended by Alessandro Busci, Fund Management Director at Prelios SGR, Senator Virginia Tiraboschi and Professor Stefano Capolongo, Director of the Department of Architecture, Construction Engineering & Built Environment at the Polytechnic of Milan.

The Study illustrated today analyzes the potential functional restructuring of the former Olivetti location in Via Jervis, Ivrea, an historic and architectural asset that in 2018 led the UNESCO World Heritage Committee to include Ivrea in its World Heritage List as an "industrial city of the 20th century”.

“The feasibility study that Prelios assigned to an outstanding Italian group in construction engineering and healthcare design is a challenge we wanted to take on for the functional restructuring, after a detailed analysis, of an iconic property created to put the individual at its heart,” said Prelios SGR Fund Management Director Alessandro Busci. “Urban regeneration focused on buildings of value is the challenge every real estate company is facing today in collaboration with the institutions, in order to avoid occupying more land on one hand and, on the other, to create wealth in the community and regenerate a productive fabric that has a significantly high unexpressed potential in the current situation.”

The former Olivetti complex was chosen with a view to implementing a value-creation process that would respect the important historical and cultural character of buildings with great architectural merit, and, at the same time, respond in a proactive manner to the social needs of regional and local healthcare planning, so giving the communities of Ivrea and the Canavese district a new hospital providing efficient and effective services for the area's health and social requirements, in line with Italy's National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR) and the Regional functional program.

Senator Virginia Tiraboschi said: “Workplaces should be progressive spaces that shine a light on beauty: this is the Olivetti complex, the twentieth century’s first industrial site, a UNESCO heritage to be optimized and kept active, the best site for the future Ivrea and Canavese hospital. A place where, as pioneered by Umberto Veronesi, the humanization of healthcare facilities is a central consideration. In the spirit of integrated humanism, from where Adriano Olivetti's company once stood, in a location so close to the center, the hospital is a growth driver for the area, which does not occupy new land and improves living conditions for everyone.”

Indeed, the choice of the former Olivetti property would satisfy the environmental and socio-economic requirements associated with reductions in land occupation, and enhance an existing site that could also house advanced education facilities, an academy and an accelerator to become a national healthcare benchmark, especially with regard to Digital Health and the therapies enabled by innovative use of technology in physician-patient communication.

Healthcare is now a core issue of innovation projects thanks to the PNRR, which, under mission 6, allocates 20 billion euro to prevention and cure in any complex healthcare system, especially now that the pandemic has highlighted the limits of patient management based on hospitalization and emergency treatment rather than on personalized home therapies for a broad section of the population: the real challenge for the future will be territorial medicine for the problems of chronic illness in an ageing population, bringing healthcare closer to the individual.

Professor Stefano Capolongo declared: “The challenge for today's cities is the production and promotion of healthcare through new living spaces. The project interprets contemporary social needs and translates them into physical space. Hospitals are the form of social architecture that best accommodate change and today provide an important opportunity for urban regeneration. In the Olivetti complex, the creation of a new facility to house the most complex activities in close synergy with the adaptive re-use and enhancement of buildings regarded as identifying characteristics of the city of Ivrea responds to the development goals for economic, social, and environmental sustainability. The study is currently examining the technical and urban planning issues involved, as well as the protection and enhancement of buildings of historic interest.”

The project presented today underlines that the property’s proximity to the city center favors the integration and optimization of services for the community, reactivating an under-used area and introducing social activities, services, research and innovation within and in the areas adjoining the property, consistently with the initiatives planned by IcoValley and the recent start-up of a master’s degree in Behavioral Design in the former Olivetti buildings.

Through the renovation of the existing assets and the construction of a new structure harmoniously integrated with the existing buildings and gardens, the feasibility study allows the different hospital functions to be allocated adequate space to meet their needs. The planned extension will be in an internal area so as not to interfere visually with the existing buildings, so conserving the quality and iconic value of the setting.

The study, which respects the constraints relating to the buildings’ historical and architecture character, aims to keep the original appearance of the facades unchanged and to conserve and enhance the view from the main roads. This is fully compatible with the updating of the existing structures to make them fit for their new purpose.

The feasibility study for the restructuring of the Olivetti Complex conducted by the Polytechnic of Milan refers to three iconic buildings constructed in different periods and for different purposes: Palazzo Uffici (PU1), built between 1960 and 1964 from a project by architects Annibale Fiocchi, Gian Antonio Bernasconi and Marcello Nizzoli; the Data Processing Center (CED, Centro Elaborazione Dati) built in 1962 and designed by the same architects, and Nuovo Palazzo Uffici (PU2), designed by architect Gino Valle (1985-1988). An industrial and office complex that tells the story of Olivetti's important industrial expansion and will have a new social function for the whole community with the creation of a social and healthcare center. The new hospital will occupy a surface area of more than 36,000 square meters, and provide 300 beds for the Ivrea Healthcare District, serving approximately 100,000 inhabitants in the Ivrea area and the Canavese district.