Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Porta Nuova Building Milano, Italy by piuarch
June 18th, 2017 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: piuarch
Like some sort of sinuous, white wave, the Porta Nuova Building fits in with the master plan for the urban redevelopment of the old railway station in Porta Nuova, Milan, situated between Corso Como, Garibaldi Station, the Isola neighbourhood and Piazza della Repubblica. This huge structure extends over a distance of 140 metres to create a structure covering a total of 16,500 m² designed for holding offices and shops. This powerful and, at the same time, lightweight, white coloured, glazed building serves a fundamental “urban purpose”: it hinges together the existing city and the latest dynamics triggered off by the entire Porta Nuova project, falling in line with the heights of the old buildings and embracing the square that is set higher level than the surrounding roads.
This block is the only low building in the entire project, but its sinuosity allows it to interact with both the old city and new towers: leaving its own powerful and recognisable trace in contrast with the high levels of the overall master plan. Set on a transparent podium connecting the two realms of the city by means of a flight of steps constructed out of a central cut through its structure, the building is also an access point to the large square.
The horizontal white shell encompassing the four upper floors holding offices is set above the transparent podium accommodating showrooms and retail spaces. The shell overhangs the square for two purposes: to protect the large retail portico below and to become a terraced deck for the buildings on the first level. Terraces used as offices also open up on the top floors through internal courtyards with coloured walls that intensify the natural lighting and make the separate work units even more flexible. A positional study designed to create a comfortable workplace and the different urban contexts that the north elevation and south elevation overlook has led to the creation of two different facades that interact with the city in different ways. The south elevation, which faces towards the old city with its curvy, sinuous outline, has rectangular windows covered by a system of sunscreens made from vertical sheets of silkscreened glass. The north elevation, which, on the other hand, opens up towards new Gae Aulenti square, has a staggered facade set across the various floors with large glass windows acting as a kind of theatrical backdrop to the pedestrian area and the park planned to accommodate the Porta Nuova Library of Trees.
Founded in 1996 by Francesco Fresa, Germán Fuenmayor, Gino Garbellini and Monica Tricario, Piuarch is a team of forty architects and engineers from all over the world led by four partners and 8 associates. Piuarch develops public buildings, office complexes, residences, commercial spaces, boutique and urban plans, with a great attention to sustainability, the interaction between architecture and context and the relationship with art, use of natural materials and a focus on energy saving. Awarded with the “2013 Italian Architect of the Year” prize and with two Gold Medals for “Honorable Mention” at the Milan Triennale, and several times exhibited at the Venice Biennale of Architecture, Piuarch’s portfolio includes numerous architectural and interior design projects for prestigious fashion brands (Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Givenchy, Les Hommes) internationally built.