Thanks to the upcoming Expo 2015, Milan has once again become a building site after a period of inactivity. Building projects have sprung up in a wide range of areas - the Fair District, the former Falck industrial brown site, Santa Giulia and Portello - creating great hopes for the future. One of the most recent developments is the “Tortona district”, a former industrial area that has done an excellent job of turning itself into a highly desirable, prestigious quarter.
The offices designed by architect Matteo Thun at number 37 Via Tortona combine programme creativity with sustainability. By allowing the genius loci to prompt the volumes and shapes, the new construction blends effortlessly with the surrounding urban and natural landscape.
The five, 6-storey buildings now occupying the 25,000 sq m former industrial site are built around an extensive inner garden court. They are deliberately designed for low environmental impact. Each interior environment has façades facing different directions. The advantage of double exposure is combined with double-height volume and open-space design with mezzanine levels.
Wooden lattice bow windows and a jutting white frame shield the glazed lights. The outer envelope is designed to provide overall insulation from extremes of heat and cold. The glazed façade also has a system of external blinds to cut direct solar radiation by 87% and so prevent overheating during the summer months. Roof terraces provide sweeping views over the whole city.
Eco-sustainable geothermal technology uses the constant ground-water temperature to produce hot or cold water. This is distributed to ceiling radiant panels and floor heat convectors throughout the complex from a collection tank by means of heat pumps. The new complex ensures high-energy yield, zero-emissions and no acoustic or environmental impact.
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