The architectural design for the U27 Office building, by Park Associati, is based on an analytical approach to the articulated system of access to the Milanofiori Nord area in Assago, Italy. The pedestrian walkways and roads, climatic factors relating to the context and the goal of properly integrating the building into the overall masterplan are the main elements they focused on. Its position as a link to an area of forest towards the north led to the development of a complex that while being based on a closed courtyard layout, enables a visual permeability to be maintained in terms of the routes that surround the building. More images and architects’ description after the break.
In January 2012, Milanofiori 2000 srl began work on the building and is due for completion and handover to Nestlé Italiana Spa in December 2013. The building has been designed in such a way as to create a visual continuity between the natural landscape of the wood at the north and the designed landscape of the site itself. The courtyard, reserved for users of the building, relates to the external landscape and is conceived as a kind of “secret garden”.
The entrance, that faces onto a semi-urban piazza, has been conceived as a continuation of the main pedestrian access from the south-west of the site (directly connected to the metro station) while service vehicles are directed to the opposite end of the complex to an area that is completely hidden by ground. The main entrance hall is in direct visual contact with the internal courtyard and is flooded with natural light by a large, north-facing rooflight. The canteen area is a place for relaxing and an important area for social interaction that adds to the quality of the environment.
While the building appears compact and rational in plan, the elevations are articulated in a series of blocks allowing for a lighter and more fragmented composition. This is achieved by dividing the whole building into a number of segments, ‘suspended boxes’ that vary in size and height and each with a slightly inclined facade. The elevations establish a link with the context through the nature of the surfaces, perceived from different angles, they are sometimes made neutral allowing light to filter through, other times compact and reflective giving continuity to the natural surroundings. At certain points the composition is enriched with the addition of vertical blades in coloured glass that further articulate the volumes without affecting the level of transparency.
The raised part of the building is embedded into the ground in a natural way to create a secluded internal space on top of which sit volumes at different levels that house the building’s main facilities. The articulation of the building envelope and the rhythm of the structure relate to the open-planned interior spaces and act as a grid for generating different configurations for the internal circulation, enabling a high degree of flexibility.
Considerable importance has been given to energy issues and levels of energy consumption. The building is expected to receive a LEED certificate (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) “Core and Shell” in Gold class.
Architects: Park Associati Location: Milanofiori Nord, Assago, Italy Design Team: Filippo Pagliani, Michele Rossi, Marco Siciliano (project leader), Marinella Ferrari, Stefano Lanotte, Marco Panzeri, Davide Pojaga, Alessandro Rossi, Elisa Taddei, Paolo Uboldi, Fabio Calciati (renderings) General Planning Team: Giovanni Bonini (RL, DL), Paolo Varenna (project leader), Loris Colombo, Laura Barat, Matteo Molteni, Luca Dagrada, Paolo Rossanigo, Alberto Villa, Claudio Bertolini, Luigi Zinco, Walter Cola, Andrea Cristaldi, Vittorio Vigano’ (CS), Claudio Bertagnolli, Manuel Schieder, Mario Pinoli, Giuseppe Zaffino Overall and Detailed Civil, Structural and Services Design: General Planning, Milano Site Supervision and Safety: General Planning, Milano General Contractor: ZH General Construction Company Spa, Campo Tures (Bz) Facades: Focchi Spa, Poggio Berni (Rn) LEED Certification: General Planning, Milano – Greenwich Srl, Medolago (BG) Leaseholder: Nestlé Italiana Spa Client: Milanofiori 2000 Srl Floor Area: 22,100 mq Status: Under construction Year: Start of work January 2012