The existing building, located in Corso di Porta Vittoria 27, Milano, is a good example of late 60’s modern architecture. Opened in 1966 to accommodate the Province headquarters, the building incorporates an innovative solution of a curtain wall facade, copper roofing, natural stone cladding on ground floor and interiors, custom wooden furniture in the main entrance, as well as a concrete frame structure with embedded service risers.
The proposal involves the refurbishment of the building and its envelope, the latter to be transformed preserving the memory of a building that represents a cultured know-how widespread in the post-war architecture in Milano, where anonymous buildings flanked the signatures of the greater masters.
The project considers the value and role of the building in the city, both for morphologic, volumetric, architectural and material qualities, to keep the balance with the context, specifically with the adjacent square of the church of San Pietro in Gessate and the imposing presence of the Tribunal.
Architectural and material features.
The shape of the building is preserved without changing volume and hight, though the envelope is replaced. The overhanging volume of glass along Corso di Porta Vittoria maintains the lightness of the facade frame, as opposed to the solidity of the stone plinth. In fact, the ground floor, set back from the volume above, is clad in natural stone, while the floors atop are enveloped with an aluminium curtain wall, that bends in the middle to follow the morphology of the surroundings. The top floor sets back from the façade and helps to balance the proportions with its context.
The proposal maintains and enhances the most significant characters of the building and its materials, still in good conditions like the stone and marble embellishing the interiors and the ground floor. These ones, well represent the overall tectonics of the building and guarantee the required degree of privacy.
The new aluminium windows and curtain wall recall the original, but the proposed bronze finish better match the religious complex of the church of San Pietro in Gessate of the XV century. The new roofs become green and accessible to provide better energy efficiency, as well as a privileged view on the city centre.
The building will accommodate the personnel of the Italian Regulatory Authority for Energy, Networks and Environment (A.R.E.R.A.). The project reconfigures the six floors of the existing building, including new offices, meeting rooms and communal areas along a longitudinal axis of distribution; furthermore, it rearranges the four floors of the wings with open plan spaces, as requested by the owner. A glazed entrance hall crosses the main body of the building, allowing a visual connection to the rear courtyard; on both sides are arranged meeting rooms, convention rooms and a small library, as well as offices. The top floors accommodate the management offices. The car park, archives and storerooms are placed on the underground levels.
Energy and services.
The elevations of the main body of the building (South, East and West) are designed with high-performance curtain walls to reduce energy consumption and guarantee high levels of natural light in the workspaces. This facade technology is based on insulating triple glazing with high G-value, embedded with photovoltaic cells, coupled with heat-reflecting roller blinds to control the solar radiations more effectively.
The rear facade is provided with external or internal insulation, depending on the finishing materials, while the roofs are provided with new insulation.
The general layout of the services is designed over the original vertical distribution, where the service risers are integrated into coupled columns, inspectable on every floor and placed along the main distribution corridor. The rooms are arranged following this feature, also allowing a flexible layout.
The building is connected to the district heating network, which supplies the winter heating, while a high-performance geothermal system, located in the basement, provides the summer air conditioning.
A real-time monitoring system manages the automation of the building, to always guarantee the best performances and comfort. Furthermore, the project implements a system of collection and reuse of rainwater on site, as well as water saving equipment.
The technological improvements introduced by the project, allow the building to be classified as a Nearly Zero Energy Building (NZEB).
The structural interventions that aim to increase the seismic response of the structure and are mainly of two types: i) Strengthening of columns, beams and structural walls, ii) Updating the existing structural joints.
The beams strengthening will be achieved by installing new reinforcing bars at the joints of the beams. The strengthening of the columns consists of a jacketing of the elements with cementitious grout combined with additional reinforcement bars. The structural walls will be strengthened with FRP fabric plating.
The minimum distance between the building and the "Leonardo da Vinci" high school is not sufficient to avoid the hammering phenomenon in the event of an earthquake. Therefore, it is necessary to intervein on the floors above ground through a local demolition of the structural elements adjacent to the joints to obtain the minimum verified distance.
Currently, the existing structure has a seismic capacity equal to 38% for the wings and to 50% for the main building. The project aims to a minimum increase of the seismic capacity of the structure, bringing the entire building to the same seismic level, where both the central body and the wings will reach 60% capacity.
Progettisti Associati Tecnarc s.r.l. (founding member of Mythos Consortium s.c.ar.l.) is an integrated design company, updated and constantly in progress since 60 years, which offers architecture and engineering services according to a multidisciplinary approach. Over time, it gained important experiences in the construction and plant engineering sectors, with new projects or for the restoration of the existing heritage, promoting energy and functional innovation in respect of materials and memory. It is specialized in complex buildings as hospitals, spas, offices, universities and schools.
S.P.S. Studio Associato di Ingegneria was founded in 1988 and joined by S.P.S. s.r.l. in 1993 and provides a wide range of engineering services. In 33 years of activity, it has accrued an extensive experience in structural design, structural diagnostic tests, seismic vulnerability assessment, structural works supervision and testing, precast concrete and prestressed concrete structures counselling.
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