The restoration of Milan’s Palazzo Ricordi to plans by Parisotto+Formenton Architetti (P+F) has finally been completed, after three years of work and awarding of Italy’s first Leed Gold “Core&Shell” certification for a historic building. The building dominates the head of the block between Via San Raffaele, Via Berchet and Via Foscolo, behind the eastern entrance to Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. Now that Via Berchet, Via Foscolo and Via San Raffaele have become a pedestrian zone, the project has been completed just in time for Expo Milano 2015 thanks to an urban redevelopment project also developed by P+F Architetti to give a facelift to this prestigious area in central Milan.
Palazzo Ricordi was completely redeveloped for commercial and office use; the project involved all seven floors in the building, with a new layout, with replacement of all the building’s window frames. All the windows on the ground floor have been freed up to make room for the new Ferrari Store that occupies the entire level. The architects designed the details and finishes with great care, as well as the entrance, common areas and vertical links. The inner courtyard, previously a technical space, has been redesigned to create a living, dynamic environment, the perfect fulcrum for the building, with a central pool in which a horizontal sheet of water flows over a glass surface that lets light into the underground level. Important elements of the design include open spaces with glass walls on the central courtyard that forms the true heart of the project. A big new meeting room made entirely of glass juts out from the main body of the building towards the cathedral, offering beautiful views of it. The project for redevelopment of Palazzo Ricordi also involved F&M Ingegneria, an engineering firm which contributed, along with the team composed of Studio Parisotto + Formenton, ESA Engineering and Evotre, to the creation of a “Core & Shell” LEED certified building thanks to the renovation of the structures, cladding and technical installations.
Via Berchet, Via Foscolo and Via San Raffaele were repaved according to the plans and artistic direction of the duo of architects, who made the entire area a pedestrian zone, with private funding. The design of the new pavement goes back to the traditional style and materials of Milan’s historic streets, with portions of cobblestone and granite made using reclaimed material from the city’s storage deposits wherever possible, integrated with new slabs of white granite. The sidewalks were demolished to create a single level, identifying pathways on the sides protected with the Parisian-style columns traditionally used in Milan.