Green Place is a business complex for offices, shops and workshops located in the north-western outskirts of Milan, not far from the new trade fair district. Three sections, with large glazed walls, enclose a modern "courtyard" that reinterprets a traditional Milanese dwelling in a contemporary light. The complex consists of two large five-storey structures connected to a lower section with two aboveground floors that are mainly used for the workshops. The complex is largely inward looking, centred on the courtyard. The entrances to the buildings face into the courtyard, which can be reached via a walkway under the two-storey building. The floor of the courtyard is the roof of a large parking garage and it is segmented by a geometrical pattern that divides it into squares with plants of different heights, stone walkways and benches. The courtyard is the key hub to access the complex. Each building has a clearly visible entrance - almost monumental - on the ground floor with a large glazed section. The full-height entrance hall combines an empty space with a seemingly sculpted flight of stairs (for each building) rising upwards, creating emphasis through the contrast with the emptiness. The stairs are visible from the inside and the outside through the glazed wall that contrasts, yet also complements the geometry of the stairs that is highlighted by the thread of light that runs along the underside of the staircase.
The buildings, especially the five-storey ones, have an extremely flexible layout, with large open spaces that can easily be subdivided to give them different uses, depending on the combinations chosen, with all the necessary technical equipment and installations.
The design for this complex placed great emphasis on sustainable building in the broad sense. The use of resources in general was carefully weighed and top quality standards were achieved, as shown, for example, by the complex being awarded the stringent Leed Gold energy certification. In designing the façades, equal importance was given to architectural considerations and the need to provide both natural light and shade. The façades were designed around the idea of adding a touch of life to the glazed elevations. The tight sequence of windows combines with the variations introduced by the sunscreens used on the eastern, western and southern sides above ground level (which is completely transparent), opening up a range of options. The bamboo sunscreens, mounted on a metal frame, have fixed and adjustable elements, depending on the angle and intensity of the sun. Inside, these elements create a play of geometrical shadows.
Location: Milano, Italia
Client: Stam Europe Italia
Architects: GaS Studio - André Straja
Project Director: Giacomo Sicuro
Project Management: Prelios Integra
Contractor: Immobiliare Percassi
Structural:? Redesco Progetti
Technical Systems: Ariatta Ingegneria di Sistemi
Lighting: Zumtobel, Bega
Ceramic Cladding: Ceramiche Imola, Marazzi
Cementitious Coating: Mapei Stone
Cladding: Rigo Marmi
Raised Floor: Tecnogivex
False Ceiling: Armstrong
Photography: © Stefano Gusmeroli