Robilant Associati: new contemporary offices in a former industrial building

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2000 m2 combined and redesigned, a high-class renovation project with stoneware used for floors, walls and furnishings.

Robilant Associati, one of Italy’s top branding and strategic design firms, is headquartered in Milan, in an industrial building dating from 1931 where chocolate was once produced. Over the years the offices have expanded to incorporate adjoining spaces in response to the company’s growth, and this generated the need for the total redesign of the interiors, as over time they had become disjointed and inconvenient. The restyling, undertaken in 2020, involved both the interior and exterior of the building, as well as one of its facades, and was handled by Geert Koster’s firm, winners of the competition held for the project.

The complex is on two floors, now reorganised with an efficient, convenient layout.

The ground floor contains the open space working areas and the meeting, workshop and relaxation zones. The basement houses the break area, the photography studio, the materials library and the recording studio (as well as the plant rooms and archives). The events rooms, multipurpose spaces and exhibition galleries complete the location.

The offices’ total floor area – 2000 m2 – and the differences in architecture and style between the spaces incorporated over the years made the use of practical, versatile materials essential. All the coverings are in porcelain stoneware, using different material effects all in grey colour and all with outstanding resistance properties.

Mystone Ceppo di Gré, the stone look that pays homage to historic Milan interiors, provides the floor covering for the main room and the adjoining ground floor washrooms, in a single medium-large size, 75×150 cm. Mystone Gris Fleury, inspired by the French natural stone, was chosen in two different sizes (30×60 cm and 60×120 cm) for the guest washrooms and the basement floor. Both collections offer refined stone-effect surfaces, installed in various shades of mid and dark grey, and featuring the High Performance technology which makes them perfect in locations with heavy foot traffic.

The floor of the photography studio was covered with a custom collection in equally hard-wearing technical porcelain stoneware; a raw concrete effect in grey, which fits attractively into the context.

Stoneware was installed not just as floor and wall covering but also as finishing material for furnishings: exploiting the design versatility of slimline large slabs, the reception counter was covered with metal-effect stoneware from the The Top Metal Look range, in Iron Dark colour and 120×240 cm size.

The kitchen countertop and backsplash, on the other hand, were created with The Top Elegant Black glossy marble-effect stoneware: this selection of slabs was specifically designed to enable use of porcelain stoneware as a furnishing feature in continuity with coverings, exploiting the material’s extraordinary technical characteristics. In this, case, the 162×324 cm size was used in the 12 mm thickness. The Top – also available in 6 mm – is ideal for covering dining and occasional tables, shelves or cabinet doors.

The project’s concept sets out to conserve the industrial spirit of the original building, with its large skylights and the new HVAC systems installed in non-embedded mode. At the same time, the demands of contemporary working practices required the reorganisation of the interior spaces and the creation of new, efficient rooms with tailor-made technological systems and furnishings. The final result is enhanced by a lighting system that underlines the rooms’ forms and interior design.

 

 

Project: Studio Koster, Geert Koster and Francesca Zanier

Ph: Andrea Martiradonna