Sensitive transformation of a standard office building in the center of Milan to create a new efficient, contemporary, and bespoke workspace that is reflective of the Banca Ifis brand – one of Italy’s most prestigious commercial and corporate banking firms.
Whilst carefully preserving and enhancing the building’s architectural features, the elegant new LEED Certified office boasts a thriving 260sgm green wall, one of the largest in Milan, to radically transform its presence within the urban block. Internally, the contemporary office now provides a new welcoming lobby area, 300 flexible workspaces, exhibition and training facilities, recreation areas for yoga and other sports, as well as four multi-functional terraces referred to as the green lungs of the office space.
Following the decision for Banca Ifis to redesign their Corporate Identity, the decision was also made to refurbish over 30 Italian locations to reflect this new identity. One Works, together with RBS Group, DEERNS and Paisà, were appointed for the first of these refurbishments with the delicate transformation of their Corporate Headquarters in Milan, a standard linear building located on a narrow street and constructed in the 1950’s.
The existing street façade has been fully restored and enhanced, whilst the side façade has been completely redesigned to become the building’s new main façade, featuring a new 260sgm green wall that is reflective of the client’s sustainability principles. Comprising 30 types of plants, shrubs, flowers, and herbs that emphasize the seasonal colors, the wall generates a beautiful natural environment within an otherwise harsh urban environment, while supporting the reduction of carbon emissions. In addition, the new entrance lobby have been carefully re-designed as part of the building architecture to help softly transition visitors and staff from the classic urban outdoor environment to the more intimate and articulated interior space.
Careful analysis of space planning and interior design developments, together with RBSGroup, have ensured that the new headquarters has exceeded the client’s needs and expectations of a forward-thinking and contemporary workspace, as well as a series of spaces that reflect the values and aspirations of Banca Ifis. In addition to the well-planned and flexible workspaces to support the growing needs of 300 staff, the new contemporary office building also features exhibition and training facilities, coffee break-out areas, recreation areas for yoga, and four multi-functional terraces.
The new office has also been designed to achieve a LEED Certification and introduces a series of improvements in relation to sustainability, environmental quality, natural lighting, comfort, and wellbeing. This sustainable approach was taken from the very beginning design stages, right through to construction, with great attention given to energy and water-saving features, a reduction of CO2 emissions, as well as the use of eco-compatible materials and energy sources.
To achieve these high international standards in energy and environmental design, designer furniture and fittings were only sourced from short supply chains and local companies, and 100% of the building’s energy requirements are produced from renewable energy sources and materials. A state-of the-art photovoltaic system has been positioned on the roof, while LED lighting with reduced densities and presence and brightness sensors guarantees the optimization of consumption. In addition, most elements of the existing building were retained, restored, and reused and new materials used during the renovation have high sustainability credentials with EPD Certification (materials with high recycled content) and low VOC emissions including paints, coatings, adhesives, and sealants.
Innovative green solutions also include the use of Airlite paint used in indoor spaces, which is designed to purify the air from pollution and bacteria, as if people were breathing in 2,650 m2 of forest, or low-flow sanitary equipment that allows a 37% reduction in drinking water consumption. Further supporting Banca Ifis’ dedication to tackling issues of sustainable mobility, dedicated spaces have been designed for bikes and e-bikes, and electric vehicle charging stations.
The Interior Design Concept is based on the dualism between the past and the future, whilst enhancing the thirsty year history banking company that continuously demonstrates global success. The design seeks to rethink the present and looks forward to the future though innovation, whilst never forgetting the company’s origins in Venice.
The interiors look to recover some classical iconic elements like arches and wooden panelling as a revival of the styles and spirit of antiquity, typical of representative spaces, along with recognizable iconic furniture choices of only local design icons. In addition to the well-planned and flexible workspaces to support the needs of staff and visitors, the new headquarters will also feature exhibition and training facilities, coffee break-out areas, recreation areas for yoga and four multi-functional terraces. Attention to the quality of spaces and wellbeing is also found in the use of large windows to ensure natural lighting and the introduction of green spaces facilitates frequent visual contact with natural elements, as well as in the design and ergonomics of all furnishing solutions.
The omnipresence of the new Brand Identity Colours will create a unique and elegant space that works for everybody and promotes the feeling of a strong brand.