A functional and aesthetic marvel, Lingotto is the symbol of Turin that more clearly reflects its evolution during the 20th Century from avant-garde industrial city to lively cultural centre.
Lingotto rises up in the early 1900s from the ground-breaking ideas of Fiat’s patriarch Giovanni Agnelli, who commissions the young architect Giacomo Matté Trucco to design the ideal facility for the first Italian mass production line. The bold reinforced concrete colossus – 150.000 m² longer than 1km – is an elegant five-storey rationalist rejection of the past with neat pillars and wide windows, which embodies efficiency and productivity.
From the component parts at the ground floor the automobiles are progressively assembled along the production line of the higher levels, ready to emerge completely functioning on the rooftop. Here, tens of car models – including the legendary Torpedo, Balillla, Topolino – loop the test track, an ellipsoidal crown celebrating cars, speed and power, which fascinates Futurists and Modernist, among all Filippo Tommaso Marinetti and Le Corbusier.
Despite the car factory’s closure in 1982, Lingotto does not lose its momentum, but it transforms its nature. The conversion project signed by Renzo Piano turns Lingotto in an illustrious forerunner of the – still actual – phenomenon of industrial building redevelopment. In respect of the iconic exterior design, the vast indoor space is reorganised in a dynamic cultural and commercial centre with some admirable surprises in the ex-Nuove Officine building: the garden of wonders – a luxuriant evergreen patio of tropical plants in one of the inner courtyards; on the rooftop with helipad, the steel and crystal bubble – an exclusive meeting room with the Alps as backdrop – and the treasure chest – precious container for the Gianni and Marella Agnelli’s art masterpieces collection.
South, the Officina di Smistamento building becomes an exhibition centre, which includes also the Oval, originally built as speed skating venue for the 2006 Winter Olympics. Lingotto Fiere is one of the most important exhibition centres in Italy and today it hosts internationally renowned events, preserving the original vibrant and productive atmosphere of the place.
Already venue of Artissima – International Fair of Contemporary Art and Club to Club – International Festival of Avant-garde and Pop, this year it will also host Operæ. Thus, during the first week of November Lingotto Fiere becomes a hub of contemporary languages, celebrated by the entire city with the event “Contemporary Art Torino”.