Originally it was a machining centre, a place where things were ‘done’, where objects took shape. Nowadays, Workshop 83 in Turin’s Mirafiori is the new headquarters of Fiat Automobiles’ Style Centre, an expression of all the symbolic values that derive from its history and from its closeness to the factory, but above all of a new commitment the Italian group aims to apply to the creative activities that underlie its products.

“It is significant that the R&D and design activities of the Fiat, Lancia, Fiat Professional, Abarth and Maserati brands have been brought together under a single supremo.

Within the next 12 months it is our intention to bring Iveco and CNH styling under this same roof too”, said CEO Sergio Marchionne at the official inauguration on 2 July, pointing out that the Alfa Romeo design centre premises (under Frank Stephenson) will remain at Arese, though the overall head will be Ramaciotti, but will work in close connection with the centre in Turin.

In the 12,500 square metres of the workshops, plus 8,100 sq.m. of outside areas, about 200 people are occupied in the overall styling process – designers, model makers, mathematical analysts with an average age of 37.

The restructuring project for Workshop 83, completed in less than a year, was overseen by Fiat’s own designers – and by Lorenzo Ramaciotti, still working as a consultant, prior to his appointment as head of Fiat and Maserati styling last June – at every stage, from conception to final set-up.

“The management and organisation of its own space is fundamental for a style centre so we were involved right from the beginning”, says Rossella Guasco, architect, at Fiat design for years and today occupied with trend and material scouting, interfaces between styling activities and group brands.

The article continues in Auto & Design no. 166

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