Text description provided by the architects. A new office for Dolce&Gabbana, on Viale Piave in Milan.
A new project, in which glass, metal, stone and concrete interact in a strong, harmonious composition.
.The long, narrow shape of the lot and the volume of the pre-existing building have led to a compositional solution involving three parallel buildings. The building on Viale Piave and the one farther back rise seven floors above ground. The central body, connected to the rest of the construction by means of a system of stairs and skyways, has three floors and is suspended over a body that connects the three buildings, perpendicular to Viale Piave and rising four floors above ground. This way a large, deep inner courtyard is created, overlooked by all the buildings. The plan also provides for three underground floors, two of which to be used for parking.
The complex structure of the building reflects the variety of uses of the spaces, with offices, areas for receiving guests and entertainment and coordination areas for the preparation of fashion shows located on various floors, and with common areas and meeting rooms on the ground floor, opening onto the courtyard.
The façade on Viale Piave has a system of brise-soleil square modules, 3.60x3.60m, arranged in a staggered, overlapping manner, made from stainless steel like the slats on the façade of the adjacent Metropol space. In the nighttime the interior lighting animates the façade and brings out the chromatic pattern of the windows, in which transparent glass alternates with glass in grey tones, corresponding to windows that open and those that are fixed. The seven floors with windows stand on a socle that is similar in size and materials to that of the Metropol, establishing a strong visual continuity.
The style used for the front on the street, which conveys a sense of transparency and lightness through the use of glass and metal, contrasts with the more austere style of the interior façades. Here the theme of square modules of the façade on Viale Piave is repeated, in size and geometry, but made from Glass Reinforced Concrete (GRC), with glass doors and windows.
The interiors of the offices and connecting spaces are characterized by a simple and functional layout, organized into open spaces. The cement ceilings, molded with wooden slats, are left exposed, and have beams equipped with HVAC and lighting systems. A variety of materials are used for the floors: stoneware tiles in the offices, oak floorboards in the fashion show coordination areas and old reclaimed woods in the areas for receiving guests and entertainment. On the ground floor, both in the interior and in the courtyard, basaltina, a dark volcanic stone, is laid everywhere. Here, as in other projects done for Dolce&Gabbana, the aesthetics of the basaltina expresses a definite Mediterranean feeling, which becomes a strong reference for the fashion house.