A building regeneration project characterised by minimal demolition works and a dynamic relationship with a rapidly changing urban context: these are the coordinates of the hard retrofitting project involving the offices in via Valtorta 52, in the northern area of Milan, by Park Associati architect firm founded by Michele Rossi and Filippo Pagliani. The original office complex dating back to the 1960s has been salvaged in its entirety. A complete rethinking involved instead the façade: the previous shell was replaced and a fourth floor set back from the façade has been added, offering an additional office space and a green terrace along part of the building’s perimeter.
Formally, the façade’s geometry acquired an extremely regular and elegant design. To increase its streamlined character, the façade opaque surfaces have been reduced and the fronts covered with a glazed skin throughout. The neat lines are enlivened by custom-made prismatic elements made of extruded aluminium which introduce interesting three-dimensional effects, adding a vertical dimension. A contribution to the impression of lightness, versatility and contemporaneity of the building, so well integrated in this area’s well-established industrial character, is the use of materials: metal, carbon fibre and Laminam ceramic slabs, used both for the façade and the interiors.
For the cladding of the façade on the ground floor and the entrance staircase to the building, we find the 1000×3000 mm Laminam 3+ large slabs from the Calce collection, in the colour Nero. Calce is a collection that makes simplicity combined with softness its aesthetic and tactile hallmark, with tones that are soft or, on the contrary, strong in the development of their opposites – white or black. For Valtorta 52, Park Associati chose Calce Nero, a versatile colour characterised by a strong colour and textural matching, perfectly balanced with the other materials used for the façade. Upon entering the building, the visitors find Calce Nero into the entrance hall and pass through a wide corridor, which leads them inside the building with another dark hue, as in a long secret path. Here the Filo collection was chosen, with the 1000×3000 mm large slabs in Laminam 3 thickness and colour Pece.
Filo is applied in the entire entrance hall with wall cabinets: a surface fascinating the observer, a decoration conceived from the image of an infinitely repeating iridescent thread that covers spaces with its illusionistic effects, like a jewel. For Valtorta 52, the Filo Pece collection was used in the entrance hall, to clad the interior walls and landings leading to the masonry lift shaft, as well as furnishing element for the office wall units. A surface like the other Laminam collections; it expresses extensive applicability in the field of architecture and design and offers versatile high-impact solutions thanks to the technology used to produce large ceramic slabs.
The Valtorta 52 project is enrolled in the LEED building sustainability certification protocol, Core and Shell class, and obtained LEED GOLD energy certification, for whose achievement the credits attributed to the materials and resources used are also decisive. This acknowledgement confirms that Laminam ceramic slabs are a choice capable of optimally combining aesthetic, functional and environmental sustainability requirements. Architectural surfaces define a new canon of beauty, perfected by research, sustainable innovation and product certifications: the Calce Nero and Filo Pece large slabs used in the Valtorta 52 project are produced with at least 40% pre-consumer recycled material in mass (LEED 40).
Thanks to a complete rethinking of the façade and the internal layout of the spaces, the strong retrofitting intervention of Via Valtorta 52 in Milan succeeded in creating a flexible, sustainable, elegant building characterised by refined and contemporary materials.
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