YACademy & competitions


11 May, 2023

The fourth edition of the Manni Group Design Award, the international architecture competition this year aimed at the redevelopment of a military bunker into a Data Center immersed in the Italian mountain landscape, has awarded 4 Gold Mentions to the projects that have been able to best interpret the use of Manni Group technologies for off-site construction.


Gold Mention ADDMIRA | MK_JSok, Post & Lintel | South Korea


The project awarded with this Gold Mention was developed with the Isopan solution for facades with high aesthetic and performance value, ADDMIRA, applying innovative technologies and finishes to create a fading effect of the wall. The facade thus conceived was decisive in the selection for this Gold Mention precisely because of its fundamental role within the project.

The complex was built by integrating new volumes into the existing spaces. The original structure made up of posts and lintels was transformed into a steel load-bearing structure, functional for the creation of a space that connects the two main areas of the building, in harmony with the presence of other technologies such as Isopan's GreenROOF system.

Thanks to an AI system, a state of homeostasis is maintained inside the building as if it were a living organism capable of self-regulation: the heat generated by the operation of the data center is exploited and circulated to heat the air and water throughout the building, and to create and use energy in other areas, including the greenhouse designed to be a vertical farm, whose products are made available to the patrons of the facility.


The bunker of a given military facility functions the same and is buried underground, but the shape and axis of the plane are different: one is a rectangular bunker, and the other is a square bunker. To allow two different bunkers to function as one building rather than separately, a new mass is proposed on the ground contrary to the underground where the bunker sits”, MK_JSok.

 The skilful use of the ADDMIRA facade system by Isopan in this project gives a high aesthetic value to the building. The nuanced effect of the finish with a neutral and natural color gives elegance and lightness to the structure, integrating harmoniously within the mountain context”, Rocco Traini, Isopan Technical and R&D Manager.


Gold Mention Flat Roof | Clelo, Tri-Matrix | China

The project was awarded an honorable mention for the use of the highly performing Isopan solution Flat Roof.

The design of the building is inspired by a triangle which symbolizes the balance between the surrounding nature and modern architecture, where the old bunkers have been transformed into open spaces and connected to the outside. A passage from the conflict of the past to the peace of the present.

The integration of glass windows and an upper opening between the roof and the sky strengthen the link between what is created by man inside and nature outside the building, amplifying the feeling of harmony with the surrounding landscape.


“A military bunker and an anti-nuclear bunker were left behind between the stunning mountains of Lessinia. Through a triangle shape with tension and dynamic balance, the design responds to the memory of previous military battles while constructing an abstract symbol for a cutting-edge data centre. The design makes use of green energy-saving technology from the Manni group. The triangular flat roof's solar panels maximize the building's supply of renewable energy and contribute to environmental protection, Clelo.

This building with an exquisitely modern and minimal taste, with clean and linear shapes, culminates with a flat roof that does not obstruct the view of the boundless hills of the mountain environment that surrounds it. The use of the Isopan Flat Roof system was a choice which, in addition to being functional from an architectural point of view, allowed the installation of photovoltaic panels to generate energy and contribute to the needs of the building”, Luigi Guerrini, Isopan Technical and Logistic Manager.


Gold Mention Manni Sipre & Manni Green Tech | Nguyen Quy Phu, Data Chapel | Vietnam


The targeted use of Manni Sipre or Manni Green Tech structural steel in the project led to the conquest of the Gold Mention. The iconic architecture of the project blends harmoniously with the landscape thanks to the lightness of the upper part created with the steel and glass structure. The section of the project is equally fascinating, the skilful use of different materials has made it possible to convert the existing structures and add higher volumes that create a balance between the strength and robustness of the steel structure and the ethereal lightness of the roof. A project that represents the maximum of technological innovation and harmony with the surrounding context.

Data Chapel
Data Chapel

Existing bunkers would be used as the foundation of new constructions. Steel and PV panels are the main materials of the additions. They are selected for their off-site construction possibility and sustainability”, Nguyen Quy Phu.

Thanks to a solid steel structure, the three volumes of the Data Center rise from the foundations of the existing site, recreating and recalling the profile of the mountains, the view of which is offered at 360° thanks to the glass which concludes the top of the prism”, Massimo Fabbri, Board Member and Technical and Industrial Director of Manni Group.


Gold Mention BASF | HNL_KNU, Data Contour | South Korea


For this project, the use of the Isopan Isofrozen panel solution was recognized, used to guarantee controlled temperature environments.

By working carefully on the reuse of existing structures, the aesthetics of the pre-existing project and minimal integration with the new technical areas of the data center were maintained. The study of the evolution of data management forms throughout history inspired the form of the project.

Since humankind history, they had made contact points between micro and macro world to orient and recognize the location of themselves on the earth. Our proposal is architectural form having symbolic shape to inter-permeate between local and non-local space based on data archaeology as above. Data centre doesn’t need specific physical site because of the non-locality of data, it can be constructed anywhere if securing the capacity of main server space and can produce spontaneously optimum design investigating environmental, historical, cultural coordinates existing in our site. In consideration of void space between existing buildings we select the location of main servers in the view of air ventilation and cooling system by wind-rose analysis”, HNL_KNU.

To improve the environmental impact, further cutting-edge technologies have been implemented, such as the GreenROOF system for the roofs and ADDMIRA for the facade.


BASF creates chemistry for a sustainable future. Through research and innovation, it combines economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility, with the aim of meeting the current and future needs of society. The world is facing great challenges and we need solutions that make sustainable growth possible. Young people are the bearers of innovation and, together with BASF, create value by writing every day what the cities of tomorrow will be like. The Data Contour project is an example of how past, present and future can coexist. A synthesis that knows how to tell the historical military pre-existence and the modern future destination, while maintaining integration with the surrounding area”, Lorenzo Bottinelli, Chief Executive Officer and Vice President of BASF Italy.


The data center industry continues to grow, energy saving and attention to sustainability have become essential aspects in the design and construction of these structures. The adoption of off-site solutions, such as those presented in the awarded projects, can offer numerous advantages in terms of efficiency, costs and implementation times. We are excited to see how technological innovation continues to drive the development of the data center industry.

Written by

Raffaele Bulgarelli - Digital Marketing Expert at Manni Group
Raffaele Bulgarelli - Digital Marketing Expert at Manni Group

Raffaele, Digital Marketing Expert of Manni Group, works in synergy with Isopan, gaining insight into the technical world of sandwich panels and keeping pace with the latest trends in the building industry. Thanks to his training in Architecture, he has a keen eye for online topics and activities involving designers and architects.

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