The European Academy of Bolzano/Bozen has its headquarters on Viale Druso, in a building known locally as the "ex-GIL". In recent years, a growing number of staff and a need for new research laboratories required some institutes to move. As a result, the Institute for Renewable Energy and the Centre for Biomedicine are now housed in two separate buildings in Bolzano's industrial zone.
The research activity of the institutes is also supported nationally and internationally by three satellite offices in Rome, Vienna and Brussels.
The Former 'GIL' Building
Commissioned by the Opera Nazionale Balilla, the structure of the GIL building was designed by a team of three architects from Padua. Located at the confluence of the rivers Talvera and Isarco, which unite the north and south of the city, it was constructed between 1934 and 1936 to house the women's fascist youth organisation GIL (Gioventù Italiana del Littorio). After Mussolini's fall from power and the end of the Second World War, the building came to be known locally as the "ex-GIL". Over the years it has served many functions, from supermarket to adult-film cinema, eventually falling into disrepair. For a long time the building's burdensome past prevented any attempts at refurbishment and re-use. It was only in 1995 that an international architectural competition was held for the redesign of the new EURAC facility. Of the fifty-six projects submitted, the jury unanimously decided on the proposal by Austrian architect Klaus Kada, which involved building around the historically protected elements with structures of glass, concrete and steel. South Tyrolean artist Manfred Alois Mayr was responsible for the colour concept, which emphasises the unique layout of the building's internal spaces. The result is a complex of some 1,300 square metres in size, articulated by its original Pompeiian red structures and new glassed-in connecting buildings.
The building boasts a sophisticated solar cooling and heating system.