Alzano Lombardo (Italy)
2006 - 2010
A few kilometers northward to Bergamo, in the Alpine foothills, lies an ancient industrial basilica. Apart from the loss of activity, nothing has changed since 1910, when the cement works originally established in 1883 by Cesare Pesenti assumed the present look. Equipped with two Dietzsch furnaces and four Pesenti shaft kilns, the factory mainly produced white cement and hydraulic limes, reaching its peak of activity in late 1930s. The rapid technological progress in the field led to the halt of cement production in 1968 and the definitive closure of the old factory already in 1974. The site is today widely acknowledged not only as an outstanding industrial monument – the best preserved example of natural cement production facility in Italy, listed since 1980 – but also as the birthplace of Italcementi, one of the top 10 cement producers worldwide. After too many years of decay, an ambitious restoration project has been recently approved, aiming to adaptively reuse the architectural ensemble as an innovative higher education and professional training center.