222-M&G Ricerche

Research Laboratory


2,700 sqm (1989-1991); (01-222).

Services Performed:

– Architecture
– Interior design
– Landscaping
– Mechanical, electrical, plumbing engineering
– Project management
– Structural engineering



As chemical industry research laboratory, the building must contain research zones for conducting both heavy experiments and delicate research. The laboratories are served by spaces used for administration, researchers and technical services. The programme of research and of “heavy” experiments is not fixed and must be permitted to develop in the future.

The site eventually chosen, Venafro in the South of Italy, is a large valley surrounded by hills, fields and traditional buildings.

A light tentlike form appeared from the first sketches and evolved into an almost oval form, 85 m by 32 m, creating a single volume covered with a lightweight 15 m high structure, and supported by symmetrical metal lattice arches held by six longitudinal suspension cables.

This space, lit by the translucency of the membrane, as well as by the perimeter steel framed and arched window, is used for both types of research.

The structure is placed in the centre of an oval reflective pool, designed for security, thermal regulation, and to enhance the form and the landscape with its reflections and coolness.

The closed research areas as well as the offices are completely air-conditioned.

The membrane is made of PVC coated polyester, stretched between metal arches. At its base, a cable holds the feet to the arches positioned in the pool.

The junction between the membrane and the metallic perimeter half-arches is made of a supple transparent PVC material that is fixed into the perimeter of the half-arches and on to the membrane’s main suspension cable. 

Main Bibliography:
  • L’ARCA, n° 42, October 1990, pp. 48-55 ; (Italy).
  • BUILDING DESIGN, n° 1017, Friday January 11, 1991, pp. 1, 22 – 27 ; (Great Britain).
  • L’ARCA, n° 57, February 1992, pp. 76-81 ; (Italy).
  • BOUWEN MET STAAL, n° 105, March-April 1992, pp. 19-24 ; (Netherlands).
  • THE ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW, n° 1143, May 1992, pp. 67-70 ; (Great Britain).
  • LE TENSOSTRUTTURE A MEMBRANA PER L’ARCHITETTURA (Aldo Capasso, Massimo Majowiecki, Vincenzo Pinto), Maggioli Editore, 216 p., 1993 ; pp.24, 53, 124, 127-129; (Italy).
  • Architektur Aktuell n° 157, April 1993, pp 32-35 (Austria).
  • SPACE DESIGN, Tokyo, n° 346, July 1993, pp.69 – 96 ; (Japan).
  • C.A. Revista oficial del Colegio de Arquitectos de Chile A.G., n° 76, April, May, June 1994; cover, pp 48 – 53, pp 61 – 64; (Chile).
  • DBZ Deutsche Bauzeitschrift, n° 2/95, February 1995; pp 105-110; (Germany).
  • ARCHITEKTUR, das Österreichische Fachmagazin, mai 1995, pp. 30-35; (Austria).
  • Klaus DANIELS “Technologie des ökologischen Bauens”, Birkhaüser Verlag, Basel – Boston – Berlin, 1995, pp. 276-277; (Germany).
  • Tony ROBBIN “Engineering a New Architecture”, Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1996, pp. 20-23, 102, 132 and fig.17; (United states).
  • “CENTRUM, Jahrbuch Architektur und Stadt 1994”, Vieweg Verlag, Wiesbaden, 1994, pp. 202-207; (Germany).
  • Mick Eekhout : “TUBULAR STRUCTURES IN ARCHITECTURE”. CIDECT (Comité International pour le Développement et l’Etude de la Construction Tubulaire) and TU Delft – Delft University of Technology; Genčve, 1996; pp. 88, 90; (Switzerland).
  • Hans-Joachim SCHOCK “SOFT SHELLS, Design and Technology of Tensile Architecture”, Birkhäuser, Basel
  • Berlin – Boston, 1997, cover, pp. 26-30, 43-47, 136-140;(Switzerland).
  • C.A. Revista Oficial del Colegio de Architectos de Chile, A. G, n° 92, January, February, March 1998, cover and pp 78-83; (Chile).
  • L’ARCA PLUS, n° 17, 2/98, Monografie di architettura, Monographie on architecture : “Philippe Samyn”, 112 p, Arca Edizioni, Milano; pp 38-43, (Italy).
  • Hugh TEARMAN : CONTEMPORARY WORLD ARCHITECTURE, Phaidon &Press, London, 1998, pp 306-307; p 306, (Great-Britain).
  • “CENTRUM, Jarhbuch Architektur und Stadt 1994, Vieweg & Sohn Verlagsgesellschaft mbH. Braunschweig/Wiesbaden, 1994. (ISBN 3-528-08803- 6, “Forschungszentrum in venafro/italien, 1992”. pp 202-207 ; (Germany).
  • CONCEPT & PLAN – Kluwer Editorial (D/1998/2524/12) (ISBN 90-6716.969-2). Quatričme livraison Suppl 3/1999 pp 60/1-18; (Belgium).
  • Francisco ASENSIO CERVER: “ATLAS DE ARQUITECTURA ACTUAL – HEDENDAAGSE ARCHITECTUUR – PANORAMA DE L’ARCHITECTURE CONTEMPORAINE”, 2000, Könemann Verlagsgesellschaft mbH (ISBN Dutch edition: 3-8290-3986-7, ISBN French edition 38290-3570-5); pp 728-729; (Germany).
  • Hugh ALDERSEY-WILLIAMS : “zoomorphic – new animation architecture”, 176p, Laurence King. London 2003, (ISBN 1-85669-340-6) “Samyn and Partners : M&G Recherche Research Laboratory – TotalFian Service Station (Mannekensvere), Comptoir wallon des Matériaux Forestiers de Reproduction”, pp 102-105, and back cover; (GB).
  • Bund Deutscher Architekten, Deutsche Messe – Award Constructa 1994 European Prize for Industrial Architecture.     

Architecture and Engineering: Philippe SAMYN and PARTNERS All projects are designed by Philippe Samyn who also supervises every drawing
Structural Engineering: Philippe SAMYN and PARTNERS with SETESCO (sister company 1986-2006) or INGENIEURSBUREAU MEIJER (sister company since 2007) if not mentioned
Services engineering: Philippe SAMYN and PARTNERS with FTI (sister company since 1989) if not mentioned

Architecture: A. Charon, M. van Raemdonck, M. Ramos, B. Vleurick.
with STUDIO H. (A. Cermelli)
Services: F. Invernizi.

Matteo Piazza


The M&G Ricerche was awarded:

Bund Deutscher Architekten – Deutsche Messe, Constructec Prize 1994
European Prize for Industrial Architecture


For plans sections and elevations, please refer to the archives section of the site available from the “references” menu.

222-M&G RicercheDEBBA