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When the major Italian publishing house Rizzoli Corriere della Sera Mediagroup moved its offices to north-east Milan, it needed infrastructure to fit its needs. Building B5 is part of a masterplan set out by Boeri Studio (comprised of Stefano Boeri, Gianandrea Barreca and Giovanni La Varra) . It consist of 5 above-ground floors which house editorial offices for the RCS newspaper group, multimedia spaces and photography studios. These floors are situated behind an iconic facade which is unique yet deferential and reminiscent of surrounding buildings on the site.

Courtesy of  Stefano Boeri Architetti

When Building C, designed by Stefano Boeri Architetti, was completed in 2007, the Mediagroup’s personnel moved in and work started on the next two buildings planned for the headquarters. Building C is a predominantly low rise building- also of 5 stories- which folds up into a tower which reaches nearly 80 meters in height. The facade system for this first building was conceived as a double facade of metal panels and screen-printed glass panels making up what is referred to as a ‘glass matrix’. These glass panes form a flush facade into which the windows are ‘cut’. Little moments of continuity tie the entire facade together, shifting across, up and down.

Courtesy of  Stefano Boeri Architetti

Building B5 picks up in many ways where Building C leaves off. The facade is another, slightly evolved ‘glass matrix’. It is in this manner, just as a media group has many unique, yet related facets making up the whole, that the architects Barreca & La Verra strive to create an overall continuity between the buildings in this new sector. B5’s matrix is one of ostensible modularity of 3/2 and a simple shift to the side between floors, creating a complex, yet readable pattern and rhythm to the building’s face. Vertical fins slot in after the 3, creating a condition of ‘holding’ between facade and fenestration. In the words of the architects, ‘These elements, together with the vertical sheets of glass and the chromatic effects with which the building is sectioned and ordered, represent the matrix from which all the later ideas and design choices have been developed’.

Courtesy of  Stefano Boeri Architetti

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