The new Pirelli office buildings, that have been recently completed, had to fulfil certain normative requirements in terms of height, intended use and plot of the previous industrial building. The project was basically the “replacement” of an existing building, based on the demolition and reconstruction of the previous block and on the upgrading of the architectural quality of the area, whilst respecting the morphology of the historical building. Furthermore, being the new building incorporated in the Pirelli block of ‘La Bicocca’, it needed to have an architectural structure similar to that of the other buildings (the Pirelli RE headquarters currently being enlarged, and the Research Centre) so as to give a coherent representation of the corporate image of the Group.
The choices of architecture and design for redevelopment and transformation of the entire Pirelli block and its buildings have therefore been made to emphasize the continuance of the production activities characterising the Group throughout the 20th century. The centre section of the office building, which faces Viale Sarca, contains the canteen: a volume that is 5.32 metres high (for a total surface of 2400 m2) with a horizontal covering featuring a roof-garden and large skylights, which enhance spaciousness in an original manner. Three sides of the building are four floors high; the latter house the production activities. Thanks to this configuration, the building defines both the public area along Viale Sarca and the private area within the Pirelli block hence granting adaptation of the facades with the surrounding buildings and continuance with the overall urban setting. The old water tower in the northern area, with its characteristic neo-medieval appearance, adds a spatial reference point and a specific backdrop. It was therefore necessary to evaluate the depth of the view. For this reason, the new building features two slim towers, with charcoal grey porcelain stoneware cladding, which define the view of the tower by means of vertical architectural elements facing Viale Sarca.
Access to the building by pedestrian public is guaranteed by an entrance facing the same avenue, which is located on the northern end. There are two other entrances, which face the private road within the compartment. The arrangement of the entrances guarantees safe access to the different areas. An internal gallery leads to the various activities located on this floor, and connects the elevator systems to the main entrances. Apart from the 9000 m2 for the offices, the two basement floors house the parking areas, the depots and the kitchen, and utilities rooms to which access is possible from a staircase leading from the private internal road. Production spaces are open space and arranged as a pattern of 7.50x7.50 metre modules. The facades of the building are tiled with Pirelli Stone porcelain stoneware (size 74.3x99.3x1.4 cm) that is dark grey. This product has been especially designed by Cotto d’Este to harmonise the new building with the existing buildings of the Pirelli block. The western facade, which traces a frame around the canteen, features four-floor towers tiled with stoneware, whereas the parts overlooking the roof-garden are aluminium and glass curtain wall with sun baffle. Thanks to this configuration, the open space areas of the various floors overlook the roof-garden.