Welcome, feeling at work: Kengo Kuma & Associates’ project in Milan
The biophilic office of the future, in which work and nature dialogue harmoniously, in an organic, horizontal architecture that listens to its surroundings. This is the basis for the visionary project commissioned by the independent platform Europa Risorse, which even before the pandemic had sensed the need to create a workspace on a human scale, fully respecting nature and perfectly integrated and modelled into the environment. The imposing Welcome, feeling at work site, which kicks off today in Milan in the Parco Lambro area, will be completed in 2024 and will provide access to the most sophisticated technological and digital requirements, as well as effective measures to protect people from future pandemics. The ambitious project, financed by a fund managed by PineBridge Benson Elliot, is intended to be one of the most sustainable ever built and is a step forward in architecture and in the concept of work, combining personal wellbeing and respect for the environment.
The architects who designed and built Welcome, feeling at work, the biophilic office of the future, are Kengo Kuma and Associates, the undisputed world interpreter of organic architecture, who have always proposed buildings that blend into their surroundings, using natural and innovative materials, which is why the famous studio was naturally chosen by the client. “Milan is a city that presents a unique and exciting combination of modernity and tradition in terms of art, architecture and craftsmanship, which makes it the ideal place to realise our work. Thanks to Italian craftsmanship, it is possible to achieve a high level of quality through an organic approach to wood design and planning,” said Kengo Kuma.
Welcome will be built in the former Rizzoli area, an industrial zone that was once lived in and is now abandoned, with the intention of redeveloping the entire area and becoming a catalyst capable of bringing people and nature together to achieve a better quality of life and work. Offices, auditoriums, co-working spaces, halls reserved for business meetings, but also restaurants and lounges, shops, a supermarket, a wellness area, places for temporary events and exhibitions. Inside and outside, public and private, work and leisure time merge into Welcome, connected by a green thread that permeates the entire project: the Piazza, rich in vegetation and surrounded by gentle hills; the open-air Courtyards, intended for informal work and meetings; the Terraces, conceived as extensions of the outdoor spaces, which will host vegetable gardens, flower gardens and walkways; the Greenhouses, which will be interpreted as special places for work, but also for entertainment and leisure, places for the hands and the mind. Not a barrier or a monument, but a place accessible and permeable in every direction. Welcome is creation and work, meeting, exchange, wellbeing of people and wellbeing of the planet, anticipating the city of the future, green, hyper-connected, at the service of knowledge and people.