Kalamazoo, Michigan, United States
Originally designed in the early 1960s by architects Gio Ponti, Piero Portaluppi, and Antonio Fornaroli as the Milan headquarters of Allianz S.p.A., the 45,000-square-meter Corso Italia 23 complex will be transformed from an insular single-tenant headquarters into a vibrant office campus that represents the future of the workplace. SOM’s design employs the most advanced sustainability, flexibility, wellbeing, and smart building concepts, while respecting and maintaining a dialogue with the original design.
Allianz Real Estate and SOM share the belief that sustainability is not only about resource efficiency and operational costs, but also encompasses proactive design solutions that support health and wellbeing. Embracing all facets of sustainability—environment, resource management, and people—the project aspires to meet both LEED® and WELL Gold Building Standards.
SOM’s design reinstates Gio Ponti’s aspiration to create a sense of connection with the city and within the buildings, while establishing a new identity for the campus. With a focus on people, an “inside-out” approach complements flexible and adaptable office space with a robust program of amenities that meet the demands of contemporary users.
Central hub spaces connect the office floors vertically, offering tenants a range of common areas. Meeting spaces, phone rooms, and lounge areas provide settings for collaboration and the serendipitous interactions which lead to new ideas.
Inspirational outdoor spaces are another key component to addressing health and wellbeing. A redesigned courtyard forms the heart of the campus. Additions to the roof offer further amenities, including executive office terraces and green spaces. These rooftop gardens and terraces provide a retreat from the activity below on the street, with stunning views above Milan.
A full-service conference center includes a 200-seat auditorium to facilitate large meetings and seminars. With a fully integrated audio-visual fit out and specialty lighting, the auditorium can also serve as a performance space.
Our approach to renovation balances heritage, innovation, cost, and sustainability. The degree of intervention made to each building is dependent on its heritage value and its specific role within the campus. The building which fronts Corso Italia defines the campus’ new identity. It is completely redesigned as a translucent object, clad with a three-dimensional unitized glazed system which draws on Ponti’s interest in tessellation and reflectivity.
SOM’s design realizes a historic opportunity to reinvigorate the Corso Italia area as a new workplace district for the city, cementing Milan as one of the most vibrant metropolises in Europe and catalyzing future development.