The new headquarters of the company 3M is located in the Malaspina Business Park in east Milan. The building is a component of a master plan drawn up in 2005 by the firm Mario Cucinella Architects (MCA) as part of the wider Malaspina Urban Project. Covering some 700,000 sq m, the whole area comprises residential, services and office buildings set amidst 80,000 sq m of landscaped greenery.
Underpinning the brief for the new headquarters - a 10,600 sq m terraced structure stepping down from the 5th to the 3rd floors - was the requirement to reduce energy consumption, consequently mitigating green house gas emissions without jeopardising thermohygrometric, illumination, acoustic and visual occupant comfort. The balance between active and passive systems, a building envelope that is an integral part of the plant and services system, the use of renewables and natural vegetation to help maintain the building’s microclimate are just a few examples of the measures taken to ensure comfort zone conditions yet contain annual energy costs and harmful emissions.
The building has received a Class A CENED rating.
The high thermal performance glazed façades on the east and west elevations are further protected by a sun-shading system comprising a series of different-length box-shaped aluminium profiles. This horizontal screen gives the building a high-tech yet evanescent appearance.
On the more exposed south side, a series of shaded terraces provide an effective protective barrier against extremes of heat or cold. They also form a welcome, shaded outdoor area for occupants even during the hottest months. Two internal courts with climbing plants further contribute to creating a comfortable microclimate, helping to keep interior work areas at optimal temperature and humidity.
Cold-beam air conditioning guarantees excellent comfort zone temperatures. The system is lodged in false ceilings thereby ensuring interior layout flexibility. Photovoltaics integrated into the roof use solar energy to ensure further energy savings.