The new office building designed by Goring&Straja Architects between the Unicredit Towers overlooking Piazza Gae Aulenti and the Garibaldi Towers adds an important new component to the redevelopment of the Porta Nuova district and creation of a new management centre in Milan. The renovation of an existing building is the result of an international competition in which architects were challenged to achieve three goals: making the most of the potential of the existing building; allowing the building to fit in with its surroundings; paying special attention to environmental and energy issues.
The building has 9 floors above ground as well as 4 underground levels, a total of about 13,000 m2. Efficient reorganisation of space and addition of a new level have given the entire block a more homogeneous, recognisable geometry.
"This is a very good example of the kind of thing we will be seeing in the future," says architect Andre Straja, founding member of Goring&Straja Architects . "Recovery of old buildings, preserving their original structure. In this case our decisions were influenced by the fact that this is a corner building directly overlooking such an important space to the north. In terms of exposure to the sun, this meant no sunbreaks or other shading elements were necessary on the main façade. We applied a completely different approach to the south, much more closed-in, and this fitted well into the context of the city: arriving from the south, you come up a little road - Corso Como – full of old houses with little windows and heavy walls, while the other side of the building faces the new Milan, which is clearly more modern, more transparent, with more glass".
Steel, aluminium, stone and glass are some of the materials employed in the project. The building’s composition seeks a balance between the utmost geometric simplicity in the building and the great complexity of its site.
Just like the building’s exterior, the interiors were painstakingly designed down to the tiniest detail, using the most advanced design solutions to guarantee very high quality of life inside the building. “We aim to achieve LEED Silver certification for the building,” explains architect Cristina Cutrona of Revalue, “and this is a great encouragement, as I like to say, rather than a limitation for designing prestigious interiors. Obtaining LEED certification is not just a matter of energy efficiency; it encourages improvement of the quality of the interior environment. In today’s working environments, the basic concept is that the workstation is no longer a single desk, it is a series of different spaces that together form a complete workstation. One of the outstanding features of this project is its ability to combine the best lighting solution with the best acoustic solution”.