La Serenissima

In tune with the original layout, the restyling gives functionality and energy efficiency to the building, opening its beautiful garden to the city

Designed in 1962 for the Campari company by the Soncini brothers, this was deemed to be a modern and technologically advanced building for its time. Fifty years later, this redevelopment turned it into a functional and energy-efficient structure in tune — almost in co-design — with the original layout.

The façade's glazed skin features structural elements and dark opaque sections, almost in alternating sequence. Originally named 'the black building', this architecture remains true to its name even after renovation, although the redesigned internal garden — which is accessible from the street — tones down the monochrome of the fronts with a thousand shades of green.

The offices housed in the building were guaranteed plenty of space by recovering the unused areas on the ground floor, thus creating a new distribution and flexibility of the interior spaces.

The creation of a glass skin made up of variable modules recomposed the new distribution of the ground floor spaces, thereby defining a single entrance. As well as providing an additional degree of flexibility to the internal partitioning, the alternating arrangement of the pre-drilled electro-coloured anodized aluminium elements framing the transparent mirror-effect surfaces softens the contrast between the lighted rooms and the façade's dark profile. Along the building's side elevation, the façades feature smooth reflective surfaces made with sheets of low-iron tempered, extra-clear, or enamelled grey glass.

The restoration also involved a complete restyling of the inner garden. In cooperation with landscape architect Marco Bay, Park Associati devised a project in tune with the building's new image. The contrast between the floor’s dark grey gravel, enlivened by the basement's original ventilation grids, the shades of the introduced plants and the verticality of the façades, created a new visual order and an innovative division of space. The result is a harmonious play between simplicity and circularity that emphasises the building, at the same time returning a magnificent urban garden to the city.

Landscape project: Marco Bay

Edificio originale

Progetto - 2012

Facciata Via Cavalieri

Photo by: Andrea Martiradonna, Marco Bay, Nicola Colella
Related projects
Milan - 2014
Corso Italia 13
Milan - 2019
Engie Headquarters
Milan - 2018