Italian tomato factory to be made from thousands of glass sauce jars

Italian architect Carlo Ratti Associati has won an international competition to design a headquarters and factory for food firm Mutti in Parma, in the Emilia-Romagna district of northern Italia.

The brief called for "reimagining the whole area where the Mutti factory has been sprawling over the past 100 years". Ratti’s response was a 250,000 sq m masterplan that features a pavilion with 120m long, 7m high walls made up of thousands of glass tomato-sauce jars.

Carlo Ratti, founder of Carlo Ratti Associati, said: "We were inspired by Pablo Neruda’s poem ‘Oda al Tomate’, which is also one of Mutti’s slogans. ‘La calle se llenó de tomates’ (‘The street was filled with tomatoes’) is a way to show how the factory can open up and project outwards.

"We imagined the Mutti plant to be like an open-air theatre: both open to the public, and to the surrounding landscape."

A public terrace will overlook the factory, which processes fresh tomatoes poured into wash basins in an endless "red cascade".

An enclosed visitor centre will host a series of public functions and feature a restaurant surrounded by an orchard and an auditorium for events.

Construction is due to begin in 2018 and be completed in 2023.

Images courtesy of Carlo Ratti Associati

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  1. Can’t speak for the artistic interpretation – but hope the jars are re-used instead of going to landfill – and at least birds won’t be tempted to fly through such glass!

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