Officina Meccanica Stanguellini, via Schedoni, Modena

Anyone who lives in or around Modena will remember Officina Meccanica Stanguellini; squeezed into the area between via Moreali and via Schedoni, it was built by Francesco Stanguellini in 1912 and then enlarged in 1926 and 1949.

A real production complex complete with warehouses, offices and living accommodation, it was the birthplace of one of the automotive brands that wrote the history of Italy’s Motor Valley, which progressed from being Modena’s first Fiat car dealership to building its own models with innovative technical features, which enjoyed impressive racing careers.

However, apart from its status as part of the history of the Emilia-Romagna region, it should be no surprise that the “Officina di via Schedoni” – as it is generally known – is also listed as a building of cultural interest for the city, and the new homes constructed in the area once occupied by part of the complex have had to comply with strict building regulations to maintain the original Rationalist architecture.

An integrated project

The Officina was carefully designed and built from the outset to fit perfectly into its urban context. The later enlargements – the first designed by Cesare Manicardi, the second by Alessandro Mundici – had to maintain the facility’s original style and blend attractively into the surrounding district.

Visitors to the iconic Officina were welcomed by its unmistakable symbol, the emblematic “Fiat” sign in brickwork, the height of two floors of the building, designed by Modena artist Mario Molinari, who also designed the Stanguellini logo we all know so well. It was a sort of “manifesto”, strategically placed for high visibility, with its red colour standing out on the concrete background.

A building that played an important part in the history of the city and of motoring, and is still fondly remembered today.