The project is a conversion of the cubic empty space of a former laboratory into an architecture office, equipped with facilities, toilet and other installations. A room with a large window, located on the north side, is annexed to this empty “shell”. The space -distinguished by large central column sustaining a transversal beam- has a double exposure from the East to the West. Located on the ground floor of a building from 1920, the office is between two courtyards, one mainly residential and the other mainly industrial. The environment is a workshop area, divided into spaces of about 100 smt made by two juxtaposed spans, typical in the urban fabric of the historical district of Porta Venezia.
The vast internal height (about 4.30mt), allowed to build a mezzanine across the main space, and a slight excavation further increased it up to 4.85mt. The original open space has been asymmetrically divided in its depth (from a facade to the other), in order to shape a main double height workspace and a secondary area devoted to the facilities along the southern side. The adjacent room on the northern side keeps the original ground altitude and has been designed as a meeting room. A special structural partition shapes its new morphology, allowing a spatial and lighting continuity with the main workspace.
The mezzanine, reachable with an iron bespoke staircase from the main entrance, has a double function: a workspace and a storage space, the first above the facilities area on the ground floor, and the latter along the north-south axis facing the double height room. The steel structure is supported by rods, partly integrated on the southern side and party visible on the northern side. The visible element is made by rods collected by articulated joint: a 'Satellite' which serves as a device to adjust the loads, and the stability of the mezzanine itself.
The long wall that develops through the workspace and that separates it from the service area, has been equipped as a timber library until the height of 3.80mt. The “wall of books” provides space for a specialized library of approximately 3.000 volumes and is served by bespoke a sliding ladder. The bookcase articulates with storage specialized elements in order to house books of a variety of sizes, CDs, installations, models etc.). The wainscoting itself forms the parapets of the mezzanine and the shelves of the archive.
The original large industrial window frames have been redesigned with new steel elements which allow an articulated opening of every single part.
The entrance door has a special complexity, including a fixed window that recreates a portion of the building facade. The entrance is paved with stone, the other areas with large size durmast oak staves.
A special attention has been paid to the design of all the details and the structure of the mezzanine and the windows, as well as to the polychromy of every surface, being it stone, wood, steel or brass.
The large working and meeting tables are bespoke as well.