• Piuarch put on show the Kinetic Garden

    At the Milan Design Week 2016, Piuarch pays tribute to Venezuelan Artist Carlos Cruz-Diez with an optical installation created using botanical essences. Chromatic effects make dynamic the courtyard of Via Palermo 1 in Milan

    For the Milan Design Week 2016, Piuarch dedicates to kinetic art a special set up of its roof garden in Via Palermo 1, Milan. Set in the heart of the old city, the Kinetic Garden is a homage to the Venezuelan artist Carlos Cruz-Diez which has always been a reference point for Piuarch. The project is a collaboration with the landscape designer Cornelius Gavril which trough the use of flowers and vegetables, designs the space in order to produce the feeling of movement and dynamism. The peculiar structure of flower beds and pallets created by Piuarch on the roof of their building, welcome a disposition of 4 plants - two varieties of salad in red and green and two pansy in yellow and blue - each essence defines a uniform color strip arranged in straight lines constantly repeated. The chromatic effect is amplified by the use of triangular axis placed along the lines of color to increase the perceived depth. The installation creates an active relationship between space and guests: the static image becomes dynamic. Partners are VerdeVivo who oversaw the preparation of plants and Vivai Mandelli who took care of the installation.

    Kinetic Garden is the special exhibition designed for the 300 square meters roof area of the Piuarch building – in via Palermo 1, Milan. THE MODULAR PALLET SYSTEM Central to this concept is the creation of a modular system that uses pallets to build easily assembled structures that combine aesthetics and functionality at a reasonable cost. The Garden aims to be an inspiring system, repeatable on a large scale for redeveloping areas that are not used. The pallets are used both as a walking surface and, upside-down, as containers for soil. In this way, a single modular element is used to create the garden’s layout.

    Kinetic Garden
    Via Palermo n. 1
    From April 12 to 16
    Schedule: 10.00 / 14: 00 and 15.00 / 18: 00

    submission date: 4/5/2016

  • Piuarch Designs the ENEL Pavilion for EXPO 2015

    A virtual volume made with 650 polycarbonate vectors expressing the innovation of the smart grid

    In designing the ENEL Pavilion for Expo 2015, Piuarch wanted to express the concept of “energy sharing” in an architectural theme. Not through a “building-container,” but rather with the creation of a virtual volume: a place, generated by a grid onto which 650 polycarbonate vectors are grafted. The arrangement of these constantly changing, illuminated vertical elements defines the volume that encompasses within itself a series of other volumes and green courtyards. http://youtu.be/_L_2pu2k3RA

    The pavilion occupies an area of 900 sq.m., overlooking the Decumano (main east-west road). The initial matrix of the project is the intelligent network that ENEL created to power the EXPO site. The basic element of the space – both conceptual and structural – is the grid which can be seen on the ground. It is precisely this grid which, by means of a network created with metallic elements carrying the distribution of electricity and the flow of data, conveys the idea of energy sharing. This network is spread across the floor and gives the system a wavy pattern. Grafted onto the network are vectors that represent the system’s nerve endings. Made from clear polycarbonate tubes with a diameter of 150 mm and a height varying between 5.3 and 7 meters, the vectors create a virtual forest, illuminated by a series of LED lights placed on the grid.

    The interaction between the visitor and the environment is a fundamental part of the concept. The perception that the visitors will have of the virtual volume changes continuously in relation to the point of observation and the movement of people: the alignment, disalignment and overlapping of the vertical elements produces a continuous changing of the visitors’ perception of the space. The kinetic effect is accentuated by the vibration produced by the variations of the light. The project also proposes a playful aspect that allows the visitor to penetrate freely into the “forest” and to interact with the vectors through unexpected situations of light and sound. Green plays an especially important role in enhancing the experience; in both the three densely wooded courtyards and the areas surrounding the pavilion a great variety of plants and herbs are used that belong to the “Mediterranean garden.” Full of colorful, lingering blossoms, these are designed to adapt to the changing seasons, expressing their message for the entire duration of the Expo.

    An elevated walkway is the dynamic experiential path that leads visitors through both the virtual forest and the natural forest. The lush green courtyards make the topic of sustainability the beating heart of the system. The wooden walkway is covered by a printed glass roof that protects against rain and creates a shaded space. A nebulizer system adds to the walk and soft music creates an evocative atmosphere. An interactive informational strip running along the entire path leads visitors into the virtual forest.

    The Control Room is the operational and nerve center of the entire ecosystem. This mirrored environment is inside the virtual forest, and films and interactive elements allows the visitor to understand how the entire intelligent system works. This is complemented by a stage machine composed by kinetic mirrored elements that echo the pattern of the network even in the control room. A second glassed area has a showroom and entertainment areas that have the virtual forest on one side and a terrace on the other. The glass surfaces are treated to create varying degrees of transparency and reflection, producing a feeling of lightness. The system is powered by energy obtained from photovoltaic panels installed on the pavilion.

    submission date: 3/30/2015

  • At the Architecture Biennale of Venice Cino Zucchi

    chooses two Piuarch projects for the INNESTI/GRAFTING exhibition
    The Quattro Corti project in St. Petersburg and the Dolce&Gabbana building in Milan chosen for the “A Contemporary Landscape” section at the Italy Pavilion

    INNESTI/GRAFTING is the title that Cino Zucchi – curator of the Italy Pavilion for the 2014 Architecture Biennale – has chosen for developing the theme suggested by Rem Koolhaas for the national pavilions, “Absorbing Modernity 1914-2014.”
    Under the section titled “A Contemporary Landscape,” Zucchi has selected two recent works by Piuarch, both of which are significant in regard to the overall theme of grafting: architecture placed in its original setting. Both express Piuarch’s ability to understand the previous historical and cultural context and to propose a vision of the project that is both modern and harmonious.
    The two projects selected by Zucchi are: the Quattro Corti Business Center in St. Petersburg and the Dolce&Gabbana office building on Viale Piave in Milan.
    The selection is a matter of great satisfaction for Piuarch, arriving in the very year in which the firm has been awarded the Italian Architect prize by the National Order of Architects.
    It is a confirmation of the path of excellence the firm has followed in its 16 years of activity, which have had as a constant the capacity to understand and interpret the historical, social, cultural, architectural settings in which the architects were working. The result of this “attitude” is not a univocal style, but rather the ability to create value within the originality of the results.

    The two projects selected:

    The Quattro Corti Business Centre – opened in 2010 as the result of a competition by invitation – is located in the historic heart of the city of St. Petersburg, very near St. Isaac’s Cathedral.
    The project involved the creation of a building that is modern, but nonetheless retains the historic façades of two buildings that had occupied the site. They were joined to the new building by means of a metal covering that, with different inclinations, reconnects the different slopes of the roofs in a continuous form. The materials and geometries of this roof blend in with the naturalness of the city’s skyline.
    Four courtyards (“Quattro Corti”) were created within the volume defined by these limits to provide lighting for the interior spaces, which function as a meeting place open to art installations, exhibitions and other public events.
    The building has 23,500 sq.m. of floor space on six floors above ground, with a scenic restaurant called “Mansarda” occupying the top floor. From the restaurant’s terrace one can enjoy sweeping views of the city center on one side, and the glass walls of the courtyards on the other.

    The Dolce&Gabbana office building built in 2012 on Viale Piave in Milan.
    The long, narrow shape of the lot and the volume of the pre-existing building have led to a compositional solution involving three parallel buildings. The building on Viale Piave and the one farther back rise seven floors above ground. The central body, connected to the rest of the construction by means of a system of stairs and skyways, has three floors and is suspended over a body that connects the three buildings, perpendicular to Viale Piave and rising four floors above ground. This way a large, deep inner courtyard is created, overlooked by all the buildings.
    The complex structure of the building reflects the variety of uses of the spaces, with offices, areas for receiving guests and entertainment and coordination areas for the preparation of fashion shows located on various floors, and with common areas and meeting rooms on the ground floor, opening onto the courtyard.
    The style used for the front on the street, which conveys a sense of transparency and lightness through the use of glass and metal, contrasts with the more austere style of the interior façades.

    A Contemporary Landscape
    The hall dedicated to this subject represents – also in the way it is set up – the current interpretation of the Italian landscape that, as Gio Ponti said, is created “half by God and half by architects.” In the great shadowy light of the existing hall, large prisms of different shape and profile will hold backlit images of contemporary projects in different settings, which together create an unexpected, ever-changing scenario. Rather than describe the projects being exhibited, the setup puts together in the manner of a large collage the diversity of our country’s urban and rural landscapes, and the different individual responses to the common theme of the relationship between the programmatic randomness of individual works and the collective whole of the country’s building development.

    Innesti / Grafting
    Italy Pavilion Italia
    14th International Architecture Exhibition
    June 7 – November 23, 2014
    Venice Biennale
    Tese delle Vergini, Arsenale
    30122 Venice, Italy

    submission date: 6/18/2014

  • Piuarch presents “FlyingGarden”

    At the 2014 Fuorisalone Piuarch offers its vision of urban renaissance through a redevelopment project for the courtyards of Milan: “from Courtyard to Courtyard”
    FlyingGarden is the name of the installation that Piuarch (winner of the 2013 Italian Architect Prize) and Cornelius Gavril (garden landscaper, green designer) have developed for the 2014 Fuorisalone. It is a floating installation in which the façade and the interior spaces and walls of the Piuarch studio on Via Palermo 1 are strewn with 150 Kokedama.

    Kokedama is an ancient Japanese technique for growing plants using special balls made of clayey, moisture-retaining soil in the place of pots. During the four seasons the plants behavior exactly as they do in nature, changing color, blossoming, bearing fruit and losing their leaves.

    FlyingGarden is a metaphor of the possibilities of bringing natural aesthetics into daily work environments. A symbol of a design philosophy that promotes viral dissemination as a method of civil and social progress.

    FlyingGarden is made up of aromatic herbs such as mint, rosemary, thyme and sage; vegetable plants such as endive, lettuce, and arugula and edible flowers such as pansies, roses and jasmine. The whole creates the feeling of a flying garden, consisting of plants characterized by a small root system and an annual life cycle. The result is a constellation of colors and scents that transforms even the most sterile spaces into a green ecosystem.

    FlyingGarden is the first project within the broader from Courtyard to Courtyard project, through which Piuarch takes part in the debate on the city of Milan as it prepares for the Expo and, more generally, on the issue of quality in contemporary metropolitan living spaces. It means applying to everyday life – locally, at home and at work – the analysis and design skills that can change the face of the city. Working on new concepts for the use and functional sharing of common areas is the seed for civic rebirth. Starting with the building where it has its headquarters, Piuarch, through the courtyard it overlooks, contemplates all of the neighboring courtyards as a whole, and then the city block, the streets of the Garibaldi quarter... firmly believing that great transformations take place through small steps. This theme will be the focus around which a network of expertise, visions, professionalism and a calendar of events will be activated. A kind of think tank for the area that hopes to bring about emulative actions of civic initiative.

    The first permanent redevelopment project is dedicated to transforming the roof of the Piuarch studio into a new multifunctional “green area.” The garden among the courtyards will be many things in one: a project for upgrading the energy efficiency of the building, a landscaping, decorative, social and food self-sufficiency tool. These will also be “identity-making” actions that want to be a sign of the Studio’s specific work philosophy and design ethics.

    During the 2014 Fuorisalone, one wing of the Piuarch studio will become the Think Tank Room. In this room Piuarch will be staging its project and civic vision of topics regarding the contemporary city, and above all it will also be an interactive space for collecting ideas, notices, visions, inspirations and projects and putting them in a network for creating a debate on a different model for area development. Visitors can fuel this debate with their contributions and experiences. A Facebook page created especially for this purpose will post in real time the ideas, drawings, proposals, thoughts and words of those who come and want to leave their own mark on these topics.

    Via Palermo n. 5
    April 8 - 13
    10.00/13:00 - 14.00/18:00

    submission date: 3/31/2014

  • A "White Wave" in Milan

    The Studio Piuarch is awarded the prize "Italian Architect 2013" and his new building is the symbol of the rising Milan architectural revolution
    As part of the Porta Nuova urban renewal project, the so called "White Wave" is a building for showrooms and offices, which has become the symbol of the new architectural dynamism of Milan. Designed by Piuarch as project winner of a Competition held in 2006 by Hines Italia.

    Bounded on one side by the central square, adjacent to Cesar Pelli's three towers, the White Wave has an area of about 22.500 square metres distributed over five stories and a ground floor for an overall height of 30 metres. This choice was conditioned by the need to respect the heights of the existing residential buildings as well as by the desire to make the new structure a strong and recognizable landmark within the requalified area, in contrast with the general plan which calls for much taller buildings. The simple and sinuous form of the building articulates and integrates the two volumes in a single element distinguished by a deep central fissure. A projecting roof on the southern side runs the entire perimeter of the building, resolving at the base of the first floor to form a sort of container open on the long sides. The design plays with the contrast of the building's two main facades.

    The northern facade, on the plaza, is a large, light, transparent glass front that functions as a rigorous backdrop for the pedestrian area and the new Gardens of Porta Nuova.

    The southern facade, at the edge of the area bordered by Via Don Luigi Sturzo, with a curved profile, is enclosed by a sunscreen system; the blades mounted on the facade vertically pace the front, regulating internal luminosity. The continuity of the elevation, of about 140 meters, is enlivened by a system of internal courts with colored windows, that penetrate different levels of the building, bringing light to the various levels.

    The portico and roof are combined in a unified way: the portico rests on the glass facade of the shops, and its overhang permits a covered walkway along the entire building. The overhang of the roof closes the glass volume and clearly defines the silhouette of the building, making it simultaneously linear, clean and unique. The White Wave rises at the centre of the Porta Nuova urban renewal project - that includes the Garibaldi, Varesine and Isola areas in Milan. An ambitious undertaking aimed at revitalizing over 290,000 square meters of abandoned areas, reconnecting the urban fabric of three neighborhoods that have been separated for over thirty years. The goal of its requalification is to give this vital area back to the city and make it an integral part of the future urban dynamic. Within this multifaceted and complex plan, the White Wave seeks to establish a dialogue with the public part of the area as a whole, configuring itself as an access point to the park, which is situated at a higher elevation with respect to street level, thus the decision to position the building on a sort of podium that connects the two spaces.

    On February the 14th Piuarch has been awarded the prize "Italian Architect 2013" by the National Council of Architects in collaboration with Maxxi - National Museum of the 21st Century Arts in Rome. The prize acknowledge and celebrate with an annual event the quality of architectural design, in its broad social and cultural terms. The Committee, presided by Cino Zucchi, has explained that "Piuarch works in Italy and abroad on different themes and scales - from interiors to urban design - shows a very good example of how great architectural and urban qualities can be pursued by dealing with the forces that are driving today the transformation of the environment". The motivation of the jury states that "the firm's collective organization provides a capability for dealing with different cultures, expectations and financial or technical resources. Their buildings (such as the Congress Center in Riva del Garda, Bentini Headquarters in Faenza, Quattro Corti in St. Petersburg, the Subsidized Residences in Sesto San Giovanni in Milan and Porta Nuova Building in Milan) show that, within the continuously changing professional conditions, it its possible to pursue new forms of urbanity and new spaces to live and work"

    Porta Nuova Building
    Invited competition, first prize
    Typology: Offices - Stores
    built area: 22.500 mq
    client: Hines Italia SGR S.p.a.
    location: Milano, Italia
    year: 2006-2013
    architectural design: Piuarch. Francesco Fresa, German Fuenmayor, Gino Garbellini and Monica Tricario
    architectural construction design: Tekne S.p.a.
    structural design: MSC Associati S.r.l.
    M & E design: Ariatta Ingegneria dei Sistemi S.r.l.
    landscape design: Land S.r.l.

    submission date: 3/4/2014

  • about

ionone world | architecture | Piuarch
    • Francesco Fresa, German Fuenmayor, Gino Garbellini and Monica Tricario formed the Piuarch studio in 1996 out of a desire to merge different experiences into a shared architectural project.
      The studio is located in an open space in a former industrial building that once hosted a typography business in Brera, in the centre of Milan. Here, Piuarch designs public buildings, office and residential complexes, commercial spaces, boutiques, shopping malls and even urban plans, with the contribution of consultants from various disciplines. Piuarch has pursued these themes participating in competitions, developing projects from the planning to the final construction phase, elaborating interior design projects.
      In recent years Piuarch has developed a number of projects abroad. It is active in China, Algeria, Russia, where it has recently opened an operational office, and in Ukraine, with ongoing and realized projects.