The Maciachini Centre is a brown-field regeneration project of a former industrial site once occupied by pharmaceutics manufacturer, Carlo Erba, in the north of Milan. The new business park will be a multi-purpose tertiary centre of some 100,000 sq m with offices, shops, restaurants, fitness and sports facilities, and cultural activities including a museum-theatre complex. The daily footfall in the Centre is forecast at around 4,000.
Once strictly out of bounds to the general public on account of the chemical products manufactured within, the area has now been completely transformed. The new design includes green spaces, squares with fountains, bicycle paths and accessibility from all sides.
After lengthy soil remediation completed in 2006, the first stage entailed the building of offices for several multinational companies. Next to be completed in 2008, was the headquarters of a Swiss financial group; third came the fitness and leisure facilities. The last phase is the office buildings designed by Berlin-based practice Sauerbruch Hutton.
The three large volumes of this complex follow the main axis of the site. They are positioned to allow easy accessibility to the site’s internal areas while creating an acoustic barrier blocking out the noise of traffic from roads bordering the site perimeter. Two of the buildings are linked by a glazed atrium space.
Architecturally the three volumes are striking for the horizontal and vertical accents afforded by the 1 ½ metre high façade cladding modules in coloured screen-printed glass with operable sun-shading elements on an aluminium frame. This ensemble forms the outer envelopes of all three buildings. The inner layers are made up of double glazing with operable windows.
The mosaic on the exterior façades to the north (overlooking the park), west (Via Imbo nati) and south (Via Bracco) comprises thirty different shades going from red to pink. On the inward facing façades, shades moving from green to blue reflect the colours of the immediate surrounds.
The elevations are further differentiated by façade modules arranged like a series of same-height but varying sized pixels that lend a dynamic to the sequence of volumes.
A key objective for the new-build facilities is the reduction of both energy requirements and harmful emissions while at the same time guaranteeing user comfort.
Warm and cooled air is distributed by means of a four-pipe fan-coil system, with primary air being passed through the false ceilings. The general purpose heating and cooling plants run on electricity. Incoming air is filtered to ensure removal of ambient fine dusts while the floating floors in the buildings are made from calcium sulphate.