The new OGR

The new OGR

The Creativity and Innovation District in 3D print form

Client: FOR Engineering Architecture (per OGR-CRT)


Architectural model of the new OGR to use in marketing and communications initiatives.


3D printed scale model of the entire OGR complex to represent the area recovered and the new functions introduced by the project.

The scale 3D model as a tool for one of the most important urban marketing operations in recent years: the revival of the OGR artistic centre as the district of creativity and innovation in Turin. Many different techniques, both digital and traditional, were employed to make it, meticulously controlled by the full 3D modelling of the architectural complex.

“The new OGR aspires to become one of the main engines of creative development in the city of Turin. A centre of excellence focused primarily on the local area but which also has the ability to look beyond the confines of the city and attract national and international audiences, professional expertise and institutional partners”. These are the words of artistic director Nicola Ricciardi, to whom project director Fondazione CRT assigned the task of launching and coordinating the activities of an institution that is unique in many ways. At least in Italy.

The former Officine Grandi Riparazioni is the site where Fondazione CRT decided to develop the new Creativity and Innovation District. A €90 million operation, described as the biggest Venture Philanthropy project in Europe and certainly destined to become the new beating heart of a Turin with an increasingly post-industrial identity.


When an architectural project, public or private, takes on notable urban relevance it inevitably becomes necessary to communicate its characteristics well before work is concluded. The architectural model becomes a key way of communicating the project to a heterogeneous public which is only able to understand its details by touching it with their own hands.

Supporting urban marketing activities is a recurring feature of the projects undertaken by Protocube Reply which, over the years, has produced many scale models of large urban developments. Both in Turin, as with the Einaudi Campus, and elsewhere in Italy, as in the case of the Stadio Friuli in Udine.


Creating an architectural model of an important development like the new OGR is in many ways a major responsibility. There are lots of requirements to fulfil. On one hand, it is important to ensure that the building, very well-known to the public, is instantly recognisable. On the other, the aims of the project must be conveyed clearly and unequivocally, in accordance with its new functions and purposes. In other words the industrial archaeology dimension of the restoration work must be communicated together with the potential connected with reintroducing a 35,000 m2 complex into the urban system.

All of the key issues were addressed under the careful direction of the FOR Engineering Architecture designers, choosing a realistic way of representing the historic factory and a conceptual approach for the new areas planned inside so they are immediately recognisable.

In terms of dimensions, a complete 1:200 scale model was identified as the optimum solution in terms of detail, cost, production time and the overall size of the plastic for its end goals.

As regards the new OGR, constructing the miniature involved an initial planning process that was very similar, in conceptual terms, to that used for a real building. Only the perfect understanding of every detail of the project and process made it possible to identify choices that guaranteed the best technical solution in accordance with the budget and the planned timescales. The planning process made it possible to share these choices with the designer and carry out the detailed planning of all modelling and printing activities for the single parts, crucial for maintaining full control over every development phase.

nuove OGR stampa 3D 01

The 1:200 scale model of the new OGR (here at the assembly stage) used for the official presentation of the project, held at Teatro Carignano in Turin in March 2017 (credits Protocube Reply)


The creation of the architectural model of the new OGR involved two principal phases: the 3D Modelling and the 3D Printing of the entire complex.

The 3D Modelling phase involved the digital construction of the entire complex as regards both the geometries of the model and the materials of the historic factory. Textures were used to give the surfaces the brick and stone finishes that have made the OGR such a recognisable presence on the city’s skyline since the late 1800s.

ogr rhino model 3d

The 3D digital model of the new OGR was created using Rhinoceros 3D software (credits Protocube Reply)

The complete 3D model is made up of thousands of parts, subsequently produced using a wide range of production technologies.

The correct execution of the scale model is the result of a smart digital creation process that takes account of the thicknesses and physical properties of all of the chosen materials as part of a procedure whose strength is technological hybridisation.

The majority of the model was produced using full colour 3D printing. This technology makes it possible to obtain high-resolution colour parts directly from the printing process. This technique has various advantages. As well as 3D printing, another technique employed was Laser Incision for the creation of the transparent plastic parts, such as windows, and the metal elements, like the hundreds of trusses that make it possible to identify the various building blocks. The large white base was designed with runners and holes to facilitate the assembly of all the elements.

The hybridisation of techniques and materials makes it possible to optimise every phase, creating details that would otherwise be difficult to produce. In fact, the new OGR was reconstructed in every single part with the exception of the roof covering, which was left out in order to offer a view of the internal structure of the project.

nuove OGR stampa 3D dettaglio

Producing a large model does not mean compromising on detail. Every aspect is emphasised by the detail of the modelling and the use of a wide range of materials and finishes, which help to successfully distinguish the various parts of the work (credits Protocube Reply)


The Creativity and Innovation District will be launched with the Big Bang, two weeks of major events, workshops and concerts during which as well as presenting itself to the city the new OGR will project itself onto the international arena, revealing its ambition to act as the beating heart of the new Turin.

Initially, the wing dedicated to “creativity” and the central connecting space dedicated to catering will be opened. The wing reserved for laboratories, universities, start-ups and innovative businesses will be completed further ahead. A fact that will make the architectural model a useful tool in the marketing and communications operations that follow the activities of the new OGR also after the inaugural Big Bang.

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