Title: Nestlè Headquarter
Location: Assago, Italy
Office: Park Associati
Authors: Alessandro Bianchi
Category: Collective Places
Photos: Andrea Martiradonna, Simone Simone
The architectural design for the Nestlé Headquarters by Park Associati is based on an analytical approach to the articulated system of access to the Milanofiori Nord area, and the goal of integrating the building into the overall master plan. The building creates a visual continuity between the natural landscape to the north and the landscape of the site itself. The courtyard, reserved for users of the building, relates to the external landscape and is conceived as a kind of ‘secret garden’. While the building appears compact and rational in plan, the elevations are articulated in a series of blocks allowing for a lighter and more fragmented composition. This is achieved by dividing the whole building into a number of segments that vary in size and height and each with a slightly inclined façade. At certain points the composition is enriched with the addition of vertical blades in coloured glass that further articulate the volumes without affecting the level of transparency. The raised part of the building is embedded into the ground in a natural way to create a secluded internal space on top of which sit volumes at different levels that house the building’s main facilities. The articulation of the building envelope and the rhythm of the structure relate to the open-planned interior spaces and act as a grid for generating different configurations for the internal circulation, enabling a high degree of flexibility. To the lightness of the glass volumes corresponds a base that works by transfer: the pillars of the projecting upper blocks do not discharge their load directly onto the ground but onto a set-back system of the building’s “foot” Compositionally varied in heights, this element was the subject of lengthy study to define its aesthetics. The choice fell on terracotta, in dialogue with the contest. The objective has been to obtain thin plates that could reach a length of over three meters, with three chromatic variations of grey. The production as well as the arrangement of the plates was object of a long study and half a research with the supplier. The angles are different, with one fixed rule: a perpendicular element in correspondence with the windows.
The brief of the tenant, Nestlé, was to have a compact building, in the style of a campus building. The entrance, (veranda) that faces onto a semi-urban piazza, has been conceived as a continuation of the main pedestrian access from the south-west of the site (directly connected to the metro station) while service vehicles are directed to the opposite end of the complex to an area that is completely hidden by ground. The internal courtyard is meant to be used by the employees in the work pauses. Many other meeting points have been dislocated in the building. Bar and canteen overlook the courtyard, the bridge connecting two blocks of the building is double floored, occupied by workstations. Smaller offices for meetings and open-spaces alternates in the working areas. The building has an auditorium and a workshop area. Considerable importance has been given to energy issues and levels of energy consumption. The building is certified LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) “Core and Shell” in Gold class.