Innovation Campus, Microsoft Italia’s new headquarters at Peschiera Borromeo, is set in the countryside overlooking the Milan Southern Agricultural Park. The whole complex was devised by the Vitali team, liaising with Flores & Prats from Barcelona for the outer shell and REvalue for the interior design. This is the first campus in Italy to be built to LEED standards. It covers some 150,000 sq m and includes work areas, lecture and training rooms, a gymnasium, a five-a-side football pitch, restaurant, bar minimarket and underground carparks. A crèche and nursery school are sited nearby. The interior design focuses on the concepts of flexibility, practicality and transparency. Each area of the complex is designed to be flexible in layout so that any point can be turned into a workstation if need be. This meant using partitions and furnishings cabled for power and IT connection, on which the designers got together with Haworth who produced all the internal walls, the lining of the central core of the building and auditorium, as well as the Phone Booth rooms for private phone-calls. There was a specific request for lightness by the customer, so in lining the core, walls and glass doors a linen film was incorporated in the glass with a double layer of plastic, giving a soft 3-D surface effect. In furnishing the broad open-space offices Haworth and REvalue did another “take” on Kiron and NCN containers, which they tailored to the customer’s needs in terms of cabling, practicality and outer appearance. The solution was a series of paired adjacent benches, and an assortment of 4-, 6-, 8- and 10-place benches on a central track, round which NCN units serve as a screen from gangway to-ing and fro-ing. Some of these last, duly cushioned, serve as seating for informal meetings. The principle underlying office layout here is reconfigurability, catering for changes to work organisation. The more permanent areas like lecture and training rooms are carefully designed to cater for their different needs. Thus the training-room tables are custom-built, as are the panels protecting any non-standard CPUs that Microsoft may be working with and which have to be inspectable and easily moved if the room arrangement changes.
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