'Welcome' to the Biophilic Office of the Future

The impressive mixed-use complex designed by Kengo Kuma and Associates is ready to break ground in Milan

by Archilovers
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A biophilic development titled Welcome, feeling at work designed by Kengo Kuma and associates, Kengo Kuma and associates has broken ground in milan. titled ‘welcome’, the mixed-use project is located in the italian city’s former rizzoli district, previously an abandoned industrial area.

The biophilic office of the future, where work and nature interact together in harmony, in an organic and horizontal architecture responding to the surrounding context. This is the basis of the visionary project commissioned by the independent platform Europa Risorse - already before the pandemic, this joint venture had identified the need to create a workspace centred around employee health and wellbeing, that is respectful and well-integrated with its local environment.

The designers of the biophilic office in the ‘Welcome, feeling at work’ project are Kengo Kuma and associates, undeniable world leaders in organic architecture who have always offered buildings that merge with their surroundings thanks to natural and innovative materials; this is why the noted firm was a logical choice by the client.

The impressive construction site of Welcome, feeling at work, has opened yesterday in the Parco Lambro district in Milan, and completion is scheduled dor 2024, allowing the individual to access the most sophisticated technological and digital resources as well as effective measures to protect people from future pandemics.

The ambitious project, financed by a fund managed by PineBridge Benson Elliot, is designed to be one of the most sustainable office development to date, and represents a step forward in architecture and the concept of work, combining individual wellness and green building solution.

“Making people’s workdays more pleasant is one of the worthiest goals achieved by this project: natural light, noise mitigation, encouragement of movement, healthy eating, large inside and outside areas for work meetings, easy circulation, and lots of other people-focused details, which also fit in with the new post-Covid culture. The project - Welcome, feeling at work - extends beyond sustainability, which is today a moral duty rather than a choice in that it puts people in workplaces that are natural environments. Only in this way can we truly understand how this is part of us and deserves more respect. Working in such conditions draws the best from us - we fall ill less and are strongly convinced to create a more habitable planet for our children and future generations” declared Antonio Napoleone, chairman of Europa Risorse.

“Design excellence is at the heart of every development project we undertake at PineBridge Benson Elliot, with a view to creating lasting, high quality buildings that are distinct to their location and use, while also pushing the boundaries of sustainability. Welcome is an iconic project that sets out to create a place with strong identity and visibility, which also speaks to and effortlessly integrates with the surrounding area. It was particularly important to us that the design should be eco-friendly and sustainable, using low-carbon-emission materials and we believe this will also be important for future occupiers as the pandemic accelerates pre-Covid work trends with more corporates focused on environmental conscious design for their office space” stated Leopoldo Andreis de Gregorio, Principal Head of Italy PineBridge Benson Elliot.

“Milan is a city with exciting and unique combination of contemporary and tradition in art, architecture and crafts that makes the ideal ground for our work to be implemented. Our organic design approach and designing of wood can be achievable in high quality with Italian craft” declared Kengo Kuma.

“Biophilic architecture: living with, and in nature. Welcome, feeling at work, is designed with organic, natural elements that appeals to our senses and tendency to find comfort and inspiration to the natural settings. Architecture space fully integrated living plants and greenery, composed with organic materials.
Biophilic urban living; give life back to the city. It is to be the New Gate, green architectural intervention reestablishing urban axis, enrich urban space quality, enhancing public activity of the area.
Foster a creative and forward thinking work life. Natural elements in architecture; green, light, air, timber that appeal to human senses make a difference in workplace, living culture for better mental, physical states, creativity, and productivity. Sustainably is the future focus and social responsibility for any industries and enterprises. Welcome offers a model work environment that can promote the forward thinking firms in sustainability” stated Yuki Ikeguchi, partner in charge of designing the project for Kengo Kuma and Associates.

‘Welcome’ emerges in the former Rizzoli district, previously an abandoned industrial area. Anchored around a newly established public piazza, the architecture places the community at the heart of its design, and the goal is for the project to act as a catalyst to revive the entire area, and unite people and nature for a better quality of life and work.

The project will provide a truly mixed use offering including: offices, auditoriums, co-working premises, meeting rooms, as well as restaurants and lounges, shops, a supermarket, wellness area, and places for temporary exhibitions and displays are provided. Inside and out, public and private, work and free time, all merge together in Welcome, linked by a common green theme that runs through the entire project: the Piazza, packed with vegetation and surrounded by soft rolling hills; open-air courtyards, dedicated to informal work and meetings; the Terraces, designed as extensions of the outside spaces, which will host kitchen gardens, flower gardens, and sheltered walkways; and the Greenhouses, special workplaces that can also be used for fun and entertainment, places to keep both the hands and head busy. It’s not a barrier or a monument - just an accessible place, permeable from all directions. ‘Welcome’ is creation and work, meetings, exchanges, wellness for people and the planet, anticipating the city of the future, green, hyperconnected, at the service of knowledge and people.

Zero carbon emissions, renewable energy resources, consumption control, salvaging of water, green areas and endemic species as an essential part of the architectural project, people-focused and sensorial - these are just a few features of the ‘Welcome’ project.
The project connects the various adjacent urban elements (the Rizzoli area) and landscape, which counteracts the existing vertical context with a new concept of accessibility and permeability, in an attempt to redevelop an area currently classed as marginal.

Over 50,000 square metres above ground, structured in six sites packed with natural and adaptable light, all layered, rotated and interwoven with each other, sloping down like natural amphitheatres towards the Park.
The ‘Welcome’ structure involves three selected materials, combined synergically to generate natural and contemporary architecture: concrete for the foundations and basement, giving way to steel and wood above ground.
The system of energy generation for heating and cooling, along with the vital use of solar panels, will allow the building to reach maximum sustainability levels, in a project that preempts the future of work spaces in a post-Covid19 era.

Health and wellness of individuals with Platinum Well certification targets; Platinum Leed energy efficiency; compliance to anti-Covid19 guidelines (Ashrae, Rheva, Aicarr and ISS Report); circularity in building materials and their use; complete abolition of fossil fuels; resilience to climate change for a climate-neutral future. Based on these pillars, Welcome presents itself as one of the most advanced eco-friendly projects in Europe.




Courtesy of © Welcome, feeling at work 






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    Welcome, feeling at work

    Milan / Italy / 2024