Cantù / Orefici
Transparency and rigor to redesign two buildings that have repeatedly been rewritten: a court and penthouses become occasions for contemporary grafts.
concept, preliminary design, final, executive, DA - 2017 / 2019
At the corner between via Orefici and via Cantù, a few steps from piazza Duomo, stands the complex of two buildings dating back to the late nineteenth century, the subject of intervention.
One with a rectangular court, connected to the second, which faces only via Orefici, through a covered passageway at the second floor, covered by a metal and polycarbonate tunnel. Both overlook the small public street Central Passage, inside the complex, which has a 90-degree angle halfway along the route. The courtyard building has 5 floors for office use, like the upper floors of the other 6-storey building, where on the ground floor there are commercial businesses. Both have flat roofs at the top, used in part as terraces. Between 2001 and 2011 the buildings underwent various transformations due to changes of ownership, in particular structural improvements, rearrangement of accesses and facing with windows on the street, installation of a swimming pool and fitness area in one of the two underground floors of the court building.
The redevelopment project involves limited interventions aimed at improving the liveability of the two buildings, without distorting their identity. On the ground, first and first basement floors there are three commercial activities, one of which will have exclusive use of the courtyard, which will be covered, becoming a warm double-height environment with a steel cover and volumetrically complex glass. The alignments of the structural elements were taken from the passage of the openings, already coordinated in the existing with the design of the pavement of the court. All the main structures of the roof are equipped with aluminum carters for housing ducts and lighting, to integrate the plant terminals in a clean and minimal design. The transparent mirrors are of 3 different types of selective light-colored extra-clear glass with the same aesthetic effect. To minimize the impact of the structure on the existing walls, only 6 anchoring points were provided for the masonry walls. On the upper floors there will be offices with entrance lobbies dedicated to the ground floor, and storage rooms on the second basement floor.
The project also provides for the complete demolition of the roof connection between the buildings, replaced by a metal structure with elements with sharp painted proportions, and partial curtain walls in multilayer glass. Thanks to the structural expedient of anchoring the two supporting beams to the masonry walls of the two buildings, the sides of the roof can be buffered at will, maintaining a certain distance between the glass slabs and the metal casings. The canopy will continue to be open on both sides, only partially protected by glass. The connection ramp is moved inside the building to allow the use of the terrace. The perception of the corner building from the street will lighten up a lot, as the windows are all reopened, at full height, with 5 cm frames also proposed on the upper floor, with single door mirrors instead of the current tripartite. On the roof, the addition added in 2002 is modified to adapt the internal space for office use: the existing facade is replaced with a transparent, glass window with external metal structural elements scanned according to the existing court openings. Even the balustrade is redesigned with a rhythm of vertical and horizontal rods. In any case, the overhang of the existing aquifer towards the central space will be maintained, converted into a narrow balcony to improve the liveability of the floor. To make the terrace usable for private events, one of the existing lifts is extended up to the roof. The volume in coverage of the other building instead, now dedicated to plant machinery, will be occupied by an area for executive meeting rooms.
The project adopts the LEED protocol, and from a first analysis the GOLD level is proposed as an achievable objective; presents a photovoltaic system on the roof, and uses the geothermal pumps already present to meet the energy needs of the building.