In Italy and worldwide, “Ivrea Industrial City of the XX Century” represents an atypical model of a modern industrial city as an alternative answer to the questions posed by the rapid evolution of the twentieth century industrialization processes.
Various elements contribute to its construction: the presence of Olivetti firm and the actions of Adriano Olivetti, which create a fertile ground for ideas and exchanges within the contemporary international labour cultures; the reflections on the consequences of the production on the territory, developed by the social Taylorists of the Thirties;
the ideas regarding the functional city suggested during the International Congresses of Modern Architecture; the community proposal developed by Olivetti after World War II; the favourable economic situation that invests the company between 1954 and 1958; the introduction of sciences, such as psychology and sociology, directly applied to the production; the introduction of innovative urban planning techniques in the city and large scale planning and the vision of culture as an asset of social modernization.
Ivrea therefore represents a model of development, based on the co-operation between capital and labour, between workers and ownership, as an alternative to the traditional one. A“realized project” where new industrial relations and social policies are the prerequisites of both modern architecture and urban plans, which redesign the city and its territorial context.
The complex of buildings of outstanding quality of the industrial city of Ivrea, is one of the first and highest expressions of a modern vision of production relationships, in which functions are identified through the filter of reflections both on the citizen as suggested by the Community Movement, and the new industrial relations developed by Olivetti.
The Community Movement, founded in Ivrea in 1947 based on the theoretical reflections suggested by Adriano Olivetti and that concern a new political and administrative system based on the Community, proposes an economic model characterized by a collective vision of relations between workers and the business community. These are regulated by a careful planning activity and the predisposition of the industry to share economic benefits across the territory, an innovative social services policy, and the affirmation of the primacy of culture in the actions of social modernization.