Fotografía: Paolo Rosselli
Building B5 is part of a sector under construction , destined to the headquarters of a major Italian publishing house, Rizzoli Corriere della Sera Mediagroup, which is relocating its offices in an area north-east of Milan. The building is 5 floors above ground, and its façade will have the primary purpose is to provide an element of continuity with the buildings in the sector. The entire building, including the ground floor part on the courtyard inner side, where the accesses are located, is covered with colourful silk-screened glass plates and with additional vertical glass cornices jutting out from the façade that form awnings in the form of “fins”. These elements, together with the vertical sheets of glass and the chromatic effects with which the building is sectioned and ordered, represent the matrix from which all the later ideas and design choices have been developed.
The studio Barreca & La Varra is one of the main firms in charge of restructuring the entire industrial compound for the RCS Mediagroup in Milan, Italy. They recently completed the office building known as B5, an integral part of the programmatic intervention of the area.
The master plan, since its inception in 2001 when Boeri Studio (composed of Stefano Boeri, Gianandrea Barreca and Giovanni La Varra) won the design competition by invitation, has aimed to upgrade and expand the areas occupied by the older offices and printing works of the RCS company (located on via Rizzoli, northeast of Milan, near the River Lambro).
B5 is a building of original character in respect to the other works on the site. While it actively participates in the program, it was intended to explore certain areas that were of particular importance to the architects. Gianandrea Barreca stated that they “were interested in the unity and continuity of matter. Thus, once the first building on the
site was designed with a glass matrix façade, it seemed natural to continue to pursue an objective of material homogeneity”. The new intervention by Barreca & La Varra means to house a series of programs, from the editorial offices of the RCS newspaper group, to photography studios and spaces for the multimedia sector.
The building is the result of a high level of professionalism applied throughout every stage of development in the project. B5 is a parallelepiped volume, with a five story glass façade that wraps around the building, reminiscent of the image of a barcode. The façades are one of the main design elements and work as a device that allows the building to engage with the surrounding urban spaces that form the boundary of the site, as well as to promote greater flexibility and spatial quality to the interior workplace.
The façade is composed of vertical alternating shades of white, gray and black (with the exception of the ground floor where black is the dominant color). The color “texture” of each floor is staggered in respect to the adjacent floors of the buildings. The verticality of the project is enhanced by the black string-course elements. Giovanni La Varra explains that “the decision to work on the boundary elements was due to the fact that, in a marginal context such as it exists at this site, it was important to establish a new front that would engage the street. They had to establish a new territorial as well as urban identity”.
Ficha del Proyecto
Barreca & La Varra
Iniziativa Immobiliare Due s.r.l. (Prelios S.p.A. – Morgan Stanley – RCS Mediagroup)
Schematic design, design development and artistic supervision:
Barreca & La Varra (Gianandrea Barreca, Giovanni La Varra)
Construction documents and structures:
Mechanical and electrical systems:
Teknema Consulting S.r.l.
Gross floor surface: