In Spring 2019 we were commissioned to take care of the reconfiguration of the entrance spaces of this building in the center of Milan.
The main front of the building stands on Via Dante but the entrance to the upper floors is from the more intimate Via Rovello, a few meters from the Piccolo Teatro Grassi.
In the years 2005-2007, this space had undergone a major transformation, part of the larger project to renovate the entire building.
The works included the construction in the inner courtyard of a new steel and glass volume covering the path leading from the entrance door to the internal stairs and the construction of an elevator tower. The latter is proposed as an autonomous body attached to the building's inner facade. The intervention of those years also included the creation of a small room for the collection of mail, the paving of the same spaces with flamed beola slabs and the covering of the walls of the original entrance hall with Carrara marble.
The latter material artifice did not, however, fully resolve the jump in scale from the original hallway, about 4.5 meters high, to the new atrium, less than 3 meters high, leaving, overall, a sense of discontinuity between the parts.
In 2020, the arrival of new tenants on the building's main floors and their demand for a more current image of the spaces turned into an opportunity to work on this critical issue and the general discontinuity of the ground floor spaces.
The project of reconfiguration of the building's entrance spaces works on the spatial reconnection of its constituent parts: on one side the original and the new entrance hall, on the other side the facade on Via Rovello and the inner courtyard.
On these premises, the leap in scale between the parts was resolved by making use of an architectural device typical of historic Milanese construction: a wooden coffered ceiling, with a deliberately abstract image, strategically placed to crown the original entrance hall, the height of which it reduces. The image of this object, intentionally respectful of the historical context, is, on the one hand, enriched by the design of the joint that in the intersection of the beams reveals its wooden soul and, on the other hand, emphasized by the new ceiling light fixtures whose light emphasizes the mass of the coffered ceiling and accompanies the transition from the exterior to the interior.
The repetition of this device close to the glazed roof of the new atrium becomes, then, the means of restoring continuity to the original hallway and the newer volumes.