B5 Building

by | 07. Jan 2013

Feature | Mixed use

Photo © Paolo Rosselli

The B5 Building, located in the north-eastern outskirts of Milan, is part of the restructuring of the former industrial core that houses the RCS Mediagroup.

Designed as a “classe A” (the equivalent of a LEED platinum) certified structure, B5 is a parallelepiped volume, with a five story glass facade, reminiscent of the image of a barcode, that wraps around the building.

Photo © Paolo Rosselli

The entire building, including the ground floor facing the inner court, is covered with serigraphed and colorful glass panels and vertical screens in the shape of “fins” that emerge from the edges of the facade. The search for a balance between these and other architectural elements, like the black string-course, create an ever-changing and dynamic facade.
/ Gianandrea Barreca

Photo © Paolo Rosselli

Photo © Paolo Rosselli

The facade, one of the main design elements, is composed of vertical alternating shades of white, gray and black, staggered in respect to the adjacent floors of the buildings. The glass panels sometimes appear transparent and other times opaque, depending on the light. Windows are placed between the opaque glass elements, and a shading system, perpendicular to the facade, is incorporated.

Photo © Paolo Rosselli

Photo © Paolo Rosselli

Photo © Paolo Rosselli

Photo © Paolo Rosselli

The attempt was to define the facade in a greater sense than is usually required, creating a surface that is much more responsive to its surroundings. The surrounding cityscape and context are in fact reflected from the glass as if the building were able to “read” the site, tracing on its surface the history, ideas and stories that give the place its current shape.
/ Gianandrea Barreca and Giovanni La Varra.

Photo © Paolo Rosselli

Photo © Paolo Rosselli

The ability to design the compound of the RCS as a creative hub that interacts directly with the public spaces of the area was a major goal of the architects, who wanted to create a “village for intellectual work”.

The restructuring of the RCS compound is essential to the preservation of the history of this part of the city and serves as a catalyst for future development.

Barreca-La Varra B5 Building (11).jpg
Drawing courtesy Barreca & La Varra Studio
Site Plan

Barreca-La Varra B5 Building (12).jpg
Drawing courtesy Barreca & La Varra Studio


ARCHITECTBarreca & La Varra Studio