Brisa 5 refurbishment links past to present design

A century-long project

Park Associati redevelops for Reale Immobili the architectural complex by Pietro Portaluppi in via Brisa, Milan, the former headquarters of Linificio e Canapificio Nazionale. The intervention tackles two buildings designed and built by Portaluppi almost twenty years apart, between 1919 and the mid-1930s, with two completely different architectural styles.
The design challenge was to interpret the pre-existing structure, welcoming its complexity, respecting its canons and responding to the client’s request, for a building suitable for offices that are in line with the contemporary demand for well-being in the workplace.

Lower-ground courtyard, offices and common spaces

When restyling a building, critical works are often not visible from the outside. In the case of Brisa 5, the spaces housing warehouses and the garage were enhanced to create a courtyard on two levels, one lower-ground that is overlooked by meeting rooms, common spaces and the library of the international law firm Allen & Overy, which is now based in the oldest building, for which Park Associati created the interior design. The other block of the complex houses the headquarters of the high jewelry house Buccellati.

Transparency and privacy

The offices of the Allen & Overy law firm combine elegance, flexibility and the need for privacy through the use of glass walls, room soundproofing and a lighting project designed to ensure workplace well-being. In the library, the use of oak wood and well thought-out lighting create an environment that is conducive to concentration without being austere.

Architectural spark

The glass volume built on the roof of the low building breaks off from the two pre-existing projects but is in line with a process already implemented by Portaluppi himself when he decided to create a rationalist-style building near the adjacent one featuring influences from the Vienna secession. The new volume on the roof houses an open space dedicated to new workspaces and stands as a strong sign, ‘an architectural spark’ in philological discontinuity with the original project.

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