In the Italian and world panorama, “Ivrea Industrial City of the XX Century” represents an atypical model of a modern industrial city and captures the general attention 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 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;
Ideas regarding the functional city suggested during the first International Congresses of Modern Architecture; the community proposal developed by Olivetti after World War II; the serene economic situation that invests the factory between 1954 and 1958; the introduction of disciplines such as psychology and sociology applied directly to the knowledge and the improvement of production; the introduction of innovative urban planning techniques in the city and territorial planning and the vision of culture as an element of social modernization.
Ivrea therefore represents a possible model of development, based on the collaboration between capital and labour, between workers and companies, as an alternative to the traditional one. All this translates into a “realized project” where new industrial relations, trade unions 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 extraordinary quality of which the industrial city of Ivrea consists, is one of the first and highest expressions of a modern vision of productive relationships, in which functions are identified through the filter of reflections both on the citizen – as users 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.
This legacy, which is also a stimulus, a reflection and an opening to the future, is the foundation for the Candidacy of “Ivrea Industrial City of the XX Century” for the UNESCO World Heritage List.