Milan has one of the most advanced urban developments in Europe, it is called CityLife, and it has surprised us with a wonderful building that will give a lot to talk about.
The office concept has been changing over time. To the requirements of the workers to have more light, work space and rest areas, others have been added such as the need to have parking, good connections with the outside world, nurseries, nearby leisure centers and, the best, the possibility of nearby residences.
The world is more globalized than ever, and nothing is going to stop it. We need more and more social interaction across borders, and this is transforming the world on an unprecedented scale. The concepts no longer become identity of a region, they go beyond cultural barriers and are installed in the minds of all. This also happens in architecture, so it is not surprising that improvements in new offices expand from the interior to the immediate exterior.
Il Portico, the new architectural jewel of Milan
A great example is the new work of the architectural firm Bjarke Ingels. It is a spectacular complex made up of two buildings joined by a roof, a beautiful and crazy catenary that plays with the contours, protecting in its interior no less than 53,500 square meters built and differentiated into two buildings of different heights and dimensions. A roof that winds with a clear intention: to become a huge portico 140 meters long.
This fact makes Il Portico the largest designed portico in the world and, soon, the largest built portico. Construction is scheduled to begin this year and it is expected to end in 2023. But, if you are liking what you read so far, you are going to like what follows even more, although before continuing it must be said that in CityLife resides the Italy’s best-known businesswoman: Chiara Ferragni, along with her spectacular family.
Two opposite buildings joined by a roof
The story is fun. And it is that the promoters put out a fourth tower, to accompany the already executed Il dritto, Lo storto and Il curvo, of 202, 170 and 150 meters, respectively, thus completing the urban plot that defines the project. BIG, the architecture studio, saw an opportunity to go the opposite way and create not a tower, but the opposite: a low-rise building with a huge portico as the entrance to the Milanese urbanization.
Of course, this delighted the jury and they gave free rein to the project. Ingels’ design divides the space into two opposing buildings of varying heights, one for offices and one for a 120-bed hotel. In addition, it should be noted that its shape in plan follows the circular silhouette of two very close buildings already built, allowing a quite powerful visual link.
The buildings will house offices and a hotel.
If the portico generates a welcoming space for the general public, the users of the buildings have enormous interior patios that are even more welcoming, where they can enjoy a break in the office building, and a moment of peace in the hotel. In addition, two large terraces have been designed in the interior corners for leisure and rest in the office building, and to house a spectacular swimming pool in the hotel.
Il Portico will have maximum energy efficiency
Of course, any project of this magnitude must opt for maximum energy efficiency. For this reason, the property has chosen to place photovoltaic energy panels on the roof, integrated panels that aesthetically will not even be known to exist, but that will generate energy to qualify for LEED Platinum certification. In addition, thermal energy will also be collected from the subsoil and rainwater will be collected for use in gardens.
The Ramboll company tells us that the users-first strategy has been used, the CLM2 SMART Vision, with which an adaptable and resistant digital platform is created that integrates the physical spaces and the rest of CityLife. In this way, users will have information and control of their entire complex. Another company that will enjoy the construction will be the Atelier Verticale studio, who will collaborate in the execution of the project «in situ», since BIG has headquarters in Copenhagen, New York, London and Barcelona, but not in Milan.
It will be built from glass, copper and concrete
As star materials, of course, the glass that will cover the entire exterior from floor to ceiling, for maximum use of light; the copper that will be placed in the lower part of the canopy, and that will be the material most viewed by visitors and users; and the reinforced concrete, which will create the strong and resistant reticular structure that will allow the durability of the complex. The vegetation will be another key piece. We find it distributed throughout the interior, in the central patios, the generous terraces and in the outskirts of the complex.
A new construction will rise in Milan shortly. An example of the future, created with state-of-the-art technological tools, such as the BIM (Building Information Modeling) system, but also with the oldest and most efficient: imagination.