Politecnica’s experience starts in 1972, when nine young engineers and architects teaching and working in Modena area agree on a common intuition: it is necessary to abandon the old concept of professional studio in favour of a stronger multidisciplinary approach, to face increasingly complex project challenges. On this shared idea, they establish C.I.A., Cooperativa Ingegneri e Architetti.
A founding member of the Engineers and Architects Cooperative, he proposed and firmly supported the original decision to form a cooperative. Born in 1936 in Pavullo nel Frignano near Modena, he graduates in Engineering at the University of Bologna. He makes a significant contribution not only to the establishment of the company, but also to its growth. Even in the most critical moments, he was able to set an example by cooperating and accompanying the other members towards increasingly ambitious goals. Just as in teaching, he was a moral example for all those who were close to him.
President of C.I.A. and Politecnica for over thirty years, Gabriele has guided the evolution of the cooperative. He has been able to keep the cooperative's founding values alive and active, promoting the balanced development of the firm in the face of profound changes in society and technology. Born in 1949 in Prignano on the Secchia river, near Modena, he graduates in Civil Construction Engineering in Bologna. Researcher and university professor, he works as a designer and consultant in the fields of infrastructure, construction, town planning and real estate. He plays leading roles in trade and sector associations, consortia, companies, working groups, building and assessment commissions.
The development of Politecnica on an international scale is largely due to Richard Sansom; born in 1950, he graduates in Civil and Hydraulic Engineering in Florence. In 1981, after having designed a few years abroad, Richard establishes IF srl - Idroforma, with engineer Massimo Nunzi and engineer Roberto Naldi. The meeting between Idroforma and C.I.A. is a lucky one: an intense collaboration is soon established, leading to the merger of the two companies in 1994. Richard was a member of Politecnica until 2018. Over the years he has worked on the design and supervision of dams and irrigation systems, roads and railway lines all over the world: Jamaica, Somalia, Mauritania, Egypt, Ecuador, Gambia, Belize, Malta, Libya and Sierra Leone.
The decision to set up a cooperative is future-oriented, in the intention of doing business without renouncing principles of solidarity and fairness. At the heart of this is a generous intergenerational perspective, a long-term view.
In fact, over the years, a new generation of architects, engineers, physics graduates, but also technical experts, surveyors and designers enters C.I.A. bringing fresh skills and a new cultural perspective.
Among these newcomers is Gabriele Giacobazzi, the engineer who will lead the evolution of C.I.A. into Politecnica.
Faced with many offers for acquisition, C.I.A. confirms its initial choice of autonomy and independence, starting collaborations with professional studios in Florence, Bologna, Rome and Milan. Through larger and more complex assignments it starts its international development phase.
New professional skills, competencies and tools flowing into the cooperative will be used to design for an increasingly evolved clientele: life cycle assessment, risk management, value engineering.
In 1994, under the new name Politecnica Ingegneria ed Architettura, the cooperative marks its transition from a regional design studio to a stable and innovative national company, with intense activities abroad. Since 2011 the chairmanship has been entrusted to Francesca Federzoni, an Engineer who has been at Politecnica since 1995.
Inclusive design is central to Politecnica, now more than ever. This means developing buildings and spaces that generate opportunities, capable of adapting to the uses and functions assigned to them by users. Similarly, gender inclusion matters: in 2021 Politecnica obtained IDEM Gender Equality Certification and has already set the goal of achieving numerical parity of people in the organisation by 2030 (today women make up 47% and enjoy full equal pay).