Innovating while Acknowledging the Past
The renovation of Robilant Associati’s headquarters, a leading brand and design consultancy in Italy, included both the interiors and exterior of the premises, a form chocolate factory in Milan.
As the building had undergone a series of impromptu extensions and additions down the years, the modernization brief was posited on overall spatial redesign and redistribution to allow for a unified, flexible whole serving contemporary office needs.
The competition was won by Studio Koster with an over-arching innovation project that nonetheless acknowledges the building’s past. The original structure was not only maintained, but highlighted. The large spaces of the original design were left intact as were the ceilings and skylights, the new mechanicals being left unconcealed as a result. The new spatial distribution allows for a range of different contemporary functions. There are meeting rooms, event and exhibition areas, informal spaces, and “coffice” areas next to the ground floor offices. Below-grade, there is a chill-out area, photography studio, recording studio, materials library, archives, storage and mechanicals room.
The sleek sober furniture and fittings are largely the result of bespoke design. Extremely elegant, they are immediately legible, contributing to the warm welcoming feel of office spaces that otherwise might risk appearing monotonously anonymous.
A key feature of the revamping project is the use of light, which streams in through the large windows. Here too, the former building design has been carried forward, the original iron frames replaced by the steel FerroFinestra Ottostumm | Mogs system.
Interior partitions were chosen from the FerroFinestra W40 range – in proprietary hot-rolled steel hot – while the outer frames are thermal-break FerroFinestra W50 TB, ensuring stylistic and design continuity.
In this way, it has maintained the pleasing geometry of the original 1930s window design of great stylistic effect with windows and partitions that guarantee today’s energy efficiency and saving requirements.