Architect Kengo Kuma and his team are back in the old continent: after the Odunpazari Modern Museum in Turkey and the V&A Dundee museum in Scotland, it is Italy’s turn for an ambitious new project by the Japanese studio. Their sustainable architectural complex embodies the idea of the office of the future: a workspace combining personal wellbeing and respect for the environment with sophisticated technological and digital systems. Yuki Ikeguchi, a partner in Kengo Kuma and Associates, explains that “Natural elements in architecture; green, light, air, timber that appeal to human senses make a difference in the workplace, a living culture for better mental, physical states, creativity, and productivity.”
Creating spaces for working and living on a human scale which demonstrate respect for nature and the environment around them is a consolidated need that the pandemic has merely brought to everyone’s attention and introduced into public debate. It has become clear that “sustainability” is not an “extra” qualifying a building, but ought to be considered a basic minimum requirement in any new project.
Kengo Kuma & Associates respond to this new requirements with the project “Welcome, feeling at work", a new office complex developed for the Europa Risorse Group, an independent Italian platform specialising in asset management, development, project and fund management for primary institutional investors from Italy and abroad.
Work has just begun on the new complex and is expected to be completed by 2024. “Welcome” will stand just outside the city centre, near the Crescenzago metro station in the Parco Lambro district, well placed and connected with the urban transportation network of Milan and beyond, through nearby Linate airport and Italy’s motorway grid.
The selected site is the former Rizzoli area, an abandoned industrial zone, in which the complex will become an important driver of redevelopment and a link between urban entities and the landscape.
Welcome will be made up of six buildings containing workspaces such as offices, an auditorium, co-working spaces and a meeting hall, as well as other functions such as shops, a supermarket, a wellness area, restaurants, lounges and venues for events and exhibitions. The architects have designed six flexible volumes, rotated and interwoven to create natural amphitheatres sloping gradually down toward the park. Greenery will be the trait d'union permeating the entire project, present in a variety of areas and functions: from a Piazza abounding in vegetation to the Open-air Courtyards, casual places for working or meeting. As well as the Terraces, an extension of the spaces inside the building into the outdoors, containing vegetable plots, gardens and paths, and the Greenhouses, special workplaces which can also be used for fun and entertainment.
Images courtesy of Europa Risorse
All drawings © Kengo Kuma and Associates
Renders © Kengo Kuma and Associates © Luxigon
Project Name: Welcome, feeling at work
Architect: Kengo Kuma & Associates
Location: Milano, Italy
Client: Europa Risorse www.europarisorse.com