Text description provided by the architects. The former Riva Calzoni re-conversion, in Milan, has produced a business district, almost entirely dedicated to the fashion field, through a new interpretation of industrial areas of a peculiar worth.
This project, studied out for Ermenegildo Zegna, substitutes an existing shed, impossible to be preserved because of the complexity of its structures, with a completely different space which, with its two buried levels of parking lots, takes up the previous disposition of volumes. The brand new building, even if reproducing the profile of a shed roofing, gives a fresh interpretation of spaces organisation.
Totally set in a courtyard system, the structure overlooks the street only by a long glass tunnel which opens itself on via Stendhal through a narrowed foyer. The long tunnel, on four levels, holds flights and footbridges connecting the showrooms’ area to the offices’ building.
As a matter of fact, Zegna’s headquarters in Milan have a showroom for each of its collections, the commercial offices, the public relations and a presentation area on the ground floor, conceived as a real theatre. All the functional spaces develop around an inside court-terrace which corresponds to the covering of the theatre and gives an inside overlooking to the different activities.
The external front of the building comes out to be a very closed one. Only partly glazed and treated with reflecting materials, this façade exploits the inclined plane shapes to reflect the surrounding industrial scenery, creating, this way, a strong effect of abstraction that “dissolves” the new building outline into the surrounding context.