Hard retrofitting as re-thinking an architecture from zero, converting a poor architectural quality building in a district Landmark, achieving excellence standards in energy performance and work spaces.
Engie Headquarters is located in the Bicocca district which has been recently the centre of an extraordinary project of industrial reconversion. One of the historic sites of Milanese industrialization, the neighbourhood started in the 90s with the establishment of an important Hub of the University of Milan and is nowadays in complete and constant evolution. The area has been enriched with the Arcimboldi theatre, a unique site for constructive, acoustic, visual criteria and technological equipment with more than 2.300 seats capacity, the Bicocca Village, of one the largest shopping centres in the city hosting 16 cinemas as well as shops, bars and restaurants, the Hangar Bicocca, an internationally renowned contemporary art museum.
Recently inaugurated, the new high-tech metro line that reaches the district has made Bicocca accessible and closer to the other residential and commercial districts of the city. The two main arteries that cross the area link it to the important production poles of the Milan northern area.
The office buildings and services already present in the area are now more attractive for the settlements of new tertiary activities and for any headquarters. The operation of complete re-design and technological modernization of Engie Headquarters fits properly and precisely in this framework.
The project proposes a complete retrofitting of a poor architectural quality building from the the ‘80s, outdated in terms of energy and distribution. The refurbishment converts the building into a contemporary architecture suited to the developing surrounding area. A relevant focus of the project is on the improvement of the building's energy performance, in order to achieve standards of excellence. In fact, Engie Headquarter's building has been awarded with the Leed Platinum certification, one of the 26 buildings in Italy.
Re-thinking the architecture from zero, more than implementing a typical restyling process, has favoured the re-proportion and re-shape of its massive volumes, in order to achieve a much lighter and articulated configuration. The rigorous vertical and horizontal signs break down the building’s impact and reach a synthesis on the ceiling-to-floor insulated double-glazing façade, that enables a full visual connection between workplace and external environment.
The project aims at opening up Engie Headquarters towards the urban fabric. The green areas are improved and enhanced by a shelter, making the complex accessible and visible.
The ceiling-to-floor design of the new insulated double-glazing façade makes the most of the transparent casing and allows for a full visual connection between the workplace and the external environment.
A compositional layer outlined by horizontal and vertical anodised aluminium intradoses, designed in such way as to fragment the building's size, has been super-imposed onto the design of the various glass modules.
The glass envelope’s transmittance reaches 0.7 W/m2K, well below the average of medium-high quality buildings in Milan. The most innovative generation systems implies ceiling radiant panels that offer efficiency and energy savings. The roof is equipped for its entire surface with photovoltaic panels with a peak power of 35kw. The flexibility of interior office spaces is updated to energy-saving and soundproofing requirements. The green area, covering a total area of 5.100 sqm, will be planted mainly with shrubs to ensure limited water consumption, and alimented through an automatic irrigation system connected to a rainwater storage tank. The environmental qualities of the project contribute to the renovated image of the building.