PART OF THE SYMBIOSIS URBAN REGENERATION PROJECT, AIMED AT CREATING A BUSINESS DISTRICT THAT ALSO EMBRACES ART AND CULTURE
Situated in Porta Romana, just south of downtown Milan, Symbiosis is an urban regeneration project backed by European investment and development company Covivio. The project’s aim is to create a new business district in an area that was historically fundamental to the city’s economic growth and still retains the underpinnings to make it a new financial hub today. As the name suggests, Symbiosis is designed to integrate – as if by symbiosis – into the urban fabric through a range of facilities and institutions that will make it more than just a financial district, including museums, foundations, showrooms, and research centers. The masterplan, the work of ACPV – Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel, centers on sustainability, with the latest building completed, Building D (designed by the same architects), a flagship for the project.
Building D comprises two interconnected volumes with different heights and different architectural languages. The lower four-story building, which is more closed and compact, faces via Orobia. Its roof garden is shared with the other volume. The larger building, on nine levels, is a rectangular prism with glazing along both longitudinal elevations, reflecting the design of the adjacent Fastweb headquarters. Its base features the same design effect created by the vertical sunshading on the façade of the lower volume as well as V-shaped columns.
At ground level, the building is open and permeable, its porticoes, green areas, and ponds – which reflect the glazed mass of the building – merging with nearby piazza Olivetti, thereby linking the building to its neighborhood and animating it as part of the local scene.
Efficient, sustainable design combined with attention to comfort levels and user wellbeing are cornerstones of ACPV’s design, and have earned the building LEED Platinum and WELL Bronze certification.
Open, interconnected, and offering a wide range of services to meet modern business needs, the interiors are designed to promote communication and collaboration. The breakout areas on each floor as well as the roof garden all encourage formal and informal interaction, while a series of digital services makes it possible to collaborate with remote workers.
The building’s inauguration featured the unveiling of Altra Natura, a site-specific work by artist Pamela Diamante. The work seems to emerge from the ground like a living organism, as if to symbolize a bridge between culture and nature.
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Location: Milan, Italy
Architects: ACPV - Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel
Area: 20,000 m2
Photography by Leo Torri, courtesy of ACPV ARCHITECTS