Mario Bellini Architects


  • Location Trieste
  • Date 2019
  • Studio Mario Bellini Architects

Palazzo Berlam in Trieste, known as the “Red Skyscraper”, has been completely redesigned by architect Mario Bellini and is now open to the public as the site of the Generali Group Academy, the Generali Group’s new global training centre. The transformation and renovation of this building in Trieste, Generali’s historic headquarters, is therefore a successful case of intervention on a true metropolitan icon that is loved by citizens and protected by the urban administration within the limits of landscape constraints. The development of this unusual building, constructed between 1926 and 1928 and designed by architect Arduino Berlam, demonstrates a profound understanding of the socio-cultural context that influenced its design, inspired by the “new red brick skyscrapers of New York”. 

Headquarters of Generali Group Academy: Photo 7


In implementing the project, the aim was to renovate the existing building through a series of interventions that did not substantially change the building’s external look, with the aim of preserving the aesthetic of the original structure. Cotto d’Este made a significant contribution by covering numerous areas of the building: for the common areas and stairways, the Kerlite Metal 5Plus line was selected in the Iron shade, featuring an attractive metallic effect expressed through Kerlite laminated porcelain stoneware slabs in the 100x100 cm size. The anti-bacterial line adds a touch of contemporary style and elegance to the rooms. To cover the interior stairs, an intensely mineral surface typical of Burgundy stone has been recreated using the Cluny collection in the Layè version, which is furrowed by dense textures and highly slip-resistant. For the important entrance area, we opted for the Kerlite Vanity 6plus line in the 120 x120 cm size, which is known for enhancing the aesthetic appeal of the most sophisticated marbles in an elegant minimal style thanks to its light vein patterns, soft chiaroscuro effects and subtle designs. In this case the Bianco Statuario version was chosen to create an effect that expanded the space. Finally, the Cadore collection was installed on the terraces, combining the high strength and functionality of thick porcelain stoneware to guarantee surfaces with unlimited durability.

Headquarters of Generali Group Academy: Photo 9
Headquarters of Generali Group Academy: Photo 11
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