New BNL-BNP Paribas headquarters

Viale Altiero Spinelli, Roma, Italy

The design of the new headquarters of BNL is part of a particular and unique context. The layering of infrastructures that are separated by two important urban areas of the city of Rome, thanks to the construction of the station for high-speed rail, which leads to a new role, not only in terms of services service but also as “urban place”. Particular because the area where the new building will stand, due to its geometric shape and topography and its relative orientation, suggests to design the building according to the principle of “Janus”.

The building is in dialogue with the adjacent complex of Tiburtina railway station, with its main features characterized by size and horizontality. It is not necessarily direct, but has references both to perspectives and to the different levels of the station, and also a different role (the horizontal stratification) in the new urban landscape. The architects goal was to meet the functional needs with a building that is capable, in its autonomy and identity, to belong to the urban context of the Tiburtina Station and at the same time to be representative both for the city of Rome and for its users.

Stazione Tiburtina

Piazzale Stazione Tiburtina, Roma, Italy

Roma Tiburtina is the second largest railway station in Rome, after Roma Termini. Located in the north-eastern part of the city, it is being redeveloped as a hub for the Italian high speed rail services instead of Termini, which is a terminal station. The bridge-like railway station organization solves many issues. The building presents itself with a story cantilever to the city and its long span organization creates several spatial surprises. The new station is expected to reach a daily ridership of over 450,000 by 2015. It is served by 140 high speed trains and 290 regional trains every day.

Chiesa Del Santo Volto Di Gesu’/ Church

Via della Magliana, 162, Roma, Italy

“How to reconcile a vision of the divine, something that has generally been represented using the symbolic forms of the circle, sphere and central plan, with the requirements of a modern culture that tends to avoid the ideals of wholeness, perfection and hierarchy?” This was the overarching problem for Sartogo Architetti, who intelligently resolved it in the Chiesa Del Santo Volto Di Gesu’ Church in Rome.

They took two steps, to resolve this issue, firstly creating a semi-circular church hall with a exterior apse, also semi-circular in form, to complete one another. Secondly, placing a large round window, reminiscent of medieval rose windows, in the perimeter wall. This coupled with the emerging form of a semi-dome suggesting the possible transformation of the virtual circumference of the plan into a sphere. The path that separates the church from the parish centre is a highly symbolic space and converges towards a focal point that is dominated by a narrow and elongated cross.

Olgiata Sporting Club

Via Guido Cantini, 4, Roma, Italy

The Olgiata Sporting Club is located inside the woods of a garden city at the border of Rome, Italy. The building is made up of three different pavilions connected to each other, with boomerang shaped beams, made of glulam, and the roof, made from zinc-titanium. The central one is the administrative center and contains the entrance, where the main staircase and the connections are. Through it the visitor can access the locker rooms at the lower level and then the two pavilions. The south pavilion contains gyms, while the north pavilion contains swimming pools. The paths to reach the different areas are strictly separated. The outdoor space has football fields, tennis courts and a beach-volley court.

Universita Luigi Bocconi

Viale Bligny, Milano, Italy

Luigi Bocconi University building acts as a filter between the city and the university. The northern edge of the site fronts onto the artery of Viale Bligny, addressing the throbbing urban life of Milan. This frontage becomes the architectural opportunity to have a ‘window’ to Milan, a memorable image to confirm the important cultural contribution that the Bocconi University plays in the life of this city. The public space of the aula magna occupies this frontage, asserting a symbolic presence and a register of the prestigious status of the University.

The building is set back from the Viale Bligny & Via Roentgen edges to make a public space 18m x 90m. This public space continues into the building, bringing with it it’s stone surface, the floor of the city. In order to make this a grand place of exchange the architect thought about the research offices as beams of space, suspended to form a grand canopy which filters light to all levels. This floating canopy allows the space of the city to overlap with the life of the university.  The underground accommodation is treated as an erupting landscape which offers support to the inhabited light filters above. This establishes a continuity between the ‘landscape’ of the city and the ‘made landscape’ of this undercroft.

White Wave

Piazza Gae Aulenti, Milano, Italy

This building is part of the Porta Nuova urban renewal project in the heart of Milan. It has an area of about 22,500 square metres distributed over five stories and a ground floor for an overall height of 26 metres. This contrasts with the general plan which calls for much taller buildings. The commercial portion is contained along a portico on ground level, while the five upper levels are for offices.

The simple and sinuous form of the building articulates and integrates two volumes in a single element distinguished by a deep central fissure. The two façades are treated differently: the one facing north is characterized by large windows, while the curved southern façade is protected by a system of sun blinds. The building, incorporates a system of internal courtyards with coloured walls.

La Serenissima Office Building

Via Filippo Turati, 34, Milano, Italy

LEED Gold Certified Building

The building known as “Palazzo Campari” was designed in the 1960s by Ermenegildo and Eugenio Soncini in the heart of Milan. It was one of a series of buildings that emerged during the years of an economic boom, representing a new aspect of corporate identity for Italian industry. It was originally characterised by the burnished colour of the metal structure of the facade and tinted glass of the curtain walling. When it was built, it was considered to be modern and technologically advanced. Today however, many of its undeniably attractive aspects have become outdated with regards to current standards of building construction. For this reason the new owner, aware of its quality and evocative presence, decided to bring in architects to redesign the complex with respect to the original layout.

The aim of the new scheme was to provide a maximum level of flexibility in terms of the division of the internal spaces, with the sense of uniformity given by the system of the internal lighting and improved access and circulation. Other elements central to the design were the use of additional space at ground floor level as well as an overall reworking of the structure of the elevations, making it more open and vibrant. These new elevations are the main feature of the design. On via Turati boxes, burnished colour, perforated and press-formed aluminium (lit up at night) are used in a rhythm that enables the elevation to be reworked, ensuring maximum flexibility in terms of the division of the internal spaces. On via Cavalieri the original lower elevation, that is in direct relation with the nearby Cà Brutta, appears sleek and flat, with predominant use of grey for the glazed surfaces, it reflects its historic surroundings.

La Corte Verde di Corso Como

Via Francesco Viganò, 28, Milan, Italy

The residential complex “La Corte Verde” (the Green Court) represents a small but important part of its location, It creates an element of transition between the new high volumes to the North and the existing urban fabric to the South. The architect placed the volume on the east edge, overlooking the large green via Viganò street, while the West edge onto via Rosales is defined by a low wall which protects the garden and by a canopy that protects the vehicular access to the underground parking and their stair block.

The front and back façades of the building have very different architectural features. They were chosen in relationship to the disposition of their interiors, their position in the city and their sun orientation. The East front on via Viganò, which hosts the bedrooms, stair blocks and bathrooms, is distinguished by a broken profile which alternates bulges in the form of “bow-windows” and high stacks of floor-to-ceiling windows. The West side, where the living areas extend in large continuous terraces, creates a long screen overlooking the garden. In the upper floors, the stepped profile creates large hanging gardens overlooked by apartments on two floors.

The different materials and textures of the façades are unified by a colour palette in various warm grey tones. These together with the projecting single gable profile recalls the historical city without any direct quotation of its stylistic features. In this sense the new building, more than mimicking the language of the existing city, constitutes its “abstract” re-reading capable of creating an effective transition between the new Porta Nuova complex and the building fabric surrounding Corso Como.

Bosco Verticale

Via Gaetano de Castillia, Milano, Italy

The Vertical Forest is an architectural concept which replaces traditional materials on urban surfaces using the changing polychromy of leaves for its walls. The biological architect relies on a screen of vegetation, needing to create a suitable micro-climate and filter sunlight, and rejecting the narrow technological and mechanical approach to environmental sustainability. The project consists of two towers, 80 and 112 meters, hosting 480 large and medium trees, 300 small trees, 11,000 perennial and covering plants and 5,000 shrubs. The equivalent – over an urban surface of 1,500 m2 – of 20,000 m2 of forest and undergrowth.

Biological Habitats: The Vertical Forest increases biodiversity. It promotes the formation of an urban ecosystem where various plant types create a separate vertical environment, but which works within the existing network, able to be inhabited by birds and insects.

Mitigation: The Vertical Forest helps to build a micro-climate and to filter fine particles contained in the urban environment. The diversity of plants helps to develop the micro-climate which produces humidity, absorbs CO2 and particles, produces oxygen, and protects against radiation and noise pollution.

Anti-sprawl: The Vertical Forest is an anti-sprawl method which helps to control and reduce urban expansion. In terms of urban density, each tower constitutes the equivalent of a peripheral area of single family houses and buildings of around 50,000 m2.

Trees: The choice of species and their distribution according to the orientation and height of façades is the result of three years of studies carried out alongside a group of botanists and ethologists. The plants which are used on the building were pre-cultivated in a nursery in order for them to become accustomed to similar conditions to those which they will find on the balconies.

Changing façades: The Vertical Forest is an ever-evolving landmark of the city, whose colours change depending on the season and the different natures of the plants used.

UniCredit Pavilion

Piazza Gae Aulenti, 10, Milano, Italy

UniCredit has constructed a multipurpose building to house the bank’s general meetings, but also exhibitions and cultural events open to the public. It occupies a privileged position against the background of Porta Nuova, beneath the mirror-glazed tower and in a dialogue with the Porta Nuova public gardens.

UniCredit Pavilion has no foundation, being constructed on a reinforced concrete podium above the parking facility. Its soft profile is inspired by the shape of a seed, and its materials are natural. A vertically ribbed cage with lamellar larch beams contains a glazed space and supports a rounded, solar panelled roof. The structure opens on the outside through two large wings, equipped with monitors for the public events. Situated on the ground floor is a multipurpose auditorium adaptable to diverse configurations and with seating for 700. An overhead walkway runs along the outer edge of the building and can be used for temporary art exhibitions. While on the first floor is a nursery for 50 toddlers and the top level has a lounge for customer reception and corporate events.