The new Dolce & Gabbana headquarters in Milan designed by piuarch

Glass and metal, stone and concrete in harmonious dialogue with the functional layout

by Malcolm Clark
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A new headqurters for Dolce&Gabbana, overlooking viale Piave, Milan. Piuarch has designed a new building, in addition to those already created by the Milanese architectural firm for the fashion house since 2000. A new project, in which glass and metal, stone and concrete dialogue in a harmonious and strongly characterized composition.

The long and narrow form of the building plot and the volume of the existing building have led to a composition solution developed in three parallel buildings. The building that overlooks viale Piave and the rearmost one cover seven floors above ground. The central body, connected to the rest of the building by a system of stairs and walkways, is suspended on a connecting body between the three buildings, perpendicular to Viale Piave and developed over four floors above ground. In this way a large and deep internal courtyard is created, which all the buildings look onto. The project also envisages three underground levels, including two for parking.

The articulated structure of the building reflects the multiple functions of use of the spaces, with offices, representation and coordination areas distributed on the different floors and common areas with meeting rooms located on the ground floor, opening onto the courtyard. The Viale Piave façade is marked by a system of stainless steel brise soleil, in harmony with the slats of the adjacent Metropol space. The brise soleil are arranged to form a composition of square modules of 3.60x3.60m, stacked in a staggered manner.

In the dark, the interior lighting gives the façade a dynamic look and highlights the colour pattern of the windows, in which transparent glass and glass in shades of grey alternate, corresponding to the ones which can be opened and the fixed ones. The seven glazed floors rest on a base whose size and materials closely match that of the Metropol, establishing a strong visual continuity with it.

The language used for the façade overlooking the road, which recalls transparency and lightness with the use of glass and metal, opposes the more austere figure of the internal walls. Here, the square modules theme of the façade overlooking Viale Piave is evoked in terms of geometry and dimensions, although here it is created with with panels of GRC - Glass Reinforced Concrete with glazed doors and windows.

A simple and functional layout characterizes the interior of the offices and of the connecting spaces, organized in an open space. The exposed concrete ceilings, moulded with wood slats, contain beams with air conditioning and lighting systems. Different materials alternate on the floor: stoneware in the offices, oak staves in the coordination spaces and old reclaimed wood in the areas of representation. On the ground floor, however, both inside and in the courtyard, basalt, a dark stone of volcanic origin is laid everywhere.

Here, as in other projects for Dolce&Gabbana, the aesthetics of the basalt draws a precise idea of Mediterraneanness which becomes a strong reference for the image of the Maison.

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    Uffici Dolce&Gabbana 44

    Uffici Dolce&Gabbana

    Milan / Italy / 2012