Be Factory - Ex Manifattura Tabacchi

Technology and innovation centre

Be Factory is the name given to the new production spaces completed within the former Manifattura Tabacchi of Rovereto, Trentino, Italy.

Be Factory is the largest civil building construction project ever to be executed in this area and, at national level, it represents one of the most important building projects using timber load-bearing structures, in terms of quantity of material used and also of architectural importance of each single structural component.

Integration is the primary principle on which Architect Kengo Kuma has developed the preliminary design, focusing on:

  • the integration between old and new buildings
  • the integration of the new buildings’ geometry with the outlines of the surrounding land, especially with the direction of the adjacent vineyards
  • the integration between the green roof covering the new production spaces and the surrounding natural environment
  • the integration of the new spaces of Manifattura with the city and with the Leno stream flowing adjacent to the area.

Thanks to its characterising wooden elements, the architecture of the new buildings is intended to promote an environmentally sustainable style of life and of work.

Project details

Location Rovereto (TN), Italy

Completion 2019 (timber construction)

Masterplan Kengo Kuma and Associates

Main Client Trentino Sviluppo S.p.A., Rovereto (TN), Italy

General Contractor Colombo Costruzioni S.p.A., Lecco, Italy

Total surface 50,000 m² approx.

Total covered area 24,000 m² approx.

Glulam 4,000 m³ approx.

CLT panels 3,000 m³ approx. (with length up to 16.60 m)

The project

The works for creating the new production spaces within the Progetto Manifattura project apply to an overall surface area of 50,000 m² and include the following elements:

  • an underground level to be used for parking, cellars, utility rooms and technology centre
  • 11 buildings with rectangular floorplan, covering an overall gross surface area of more than 20,000 m²
  • outdoor landscaping.

Of the 11 new buildings, 8 have an entirely wooden bearing structure

All the wooden buildings are connected to each other by a common covered space that on the roof level becomes a walkway for public use surrounded by green roofs.

© Trentino Sviluppo S.p.A.

The structural layout

The structure of the eight buildings above ground destined for production activities is entirely made of wooden elements. The buildings appear as a sum of buildings disjointed one from the other at the base but connected at roof level thanks to a large central distribution area (the tunnel) that branches off at the side entrances.

The load-bearing frames made of glue-laminated wood feature the presence of a structural module that is repeated, in a conceptual line, to form the body of each building.

A peculiar feature of the structure, that also stands as the predominant architectural appearance, is the shape of the group of columns that make up the main portal.

When walking down the central tunnel the visitor’s attention is immediately attracted to the geometry of the beams that outline the roof, staggered at a constant distance one from the other along the whole length of the tunnel.

The roofs are made entirely of CLT wooden panels.

All the panels consist of five layers, with thickness varying in function of their position within the plane, considering the different load areas present on the roofs relating to either permanent or variable loads.

© Trentino Sviluppo S.p.A.

The prefab production

All the structural elements, both those made of glulam and the CLT wooden panels, have been produced and processed at the Rubner Holzbau factory in Bressanone (Bolzano, Italy).

Production started many weeks prior to the start of works at the construction site, with the acquisition of considerable quantities of strips, the spruce wood planks selected and classified for structural use, necessary to produce the almost 7,000 m³ of structural elements required for the project.

Each element was cut, shaped and drilled using CNC-type numerical control machines according to the distinctive specifications prepared during the construction design phase. In many cases, a veritable pre-assembly was performed at the factory by composing inside the plant the many structural composite elements envisaged for completing the project. This operation mainly involved the composite pillars of the main frames and the composite beams of the tunnel and porticoes.

The very high level of prefabrication adopted has allowed to greatly reduce construction times and increase the precision and quality of processing of the single pieces. Also, it helped the ensuing construction site assembly work in terms of safety.

A detailed planning of all of the activities and the professionalism of the staff employed at the construction site, have allowed to complete the construction of the eight wooden buildings, the tunnel and the connection arcades, including almost 24,000 m² of CLT roof panels and more than 1,100 glulam pillars to support the facades, in just a little more than 5 months.More information about the projectMore information about the project


More information about the project: BE FACTORY