Banca Lombarda Headquarter

  • Brescia

  • 2006

  • Contractor SBIM Spa

  • Photos: D. Domenicali

The Banca Lombarda Headquarters is part of an overall project which comprises a residential area, public spaces with a pedestrian square, a garden and parking places above and below ground.
The square is naturally the heart of the whole project, around it are both the building of the bank and the three residential blocks with shops and office areas.

The Banca Lombarda Headquarters building hosts both offices and a wide congress area with two meeting rooms of 150 and 500 seats respectively. The building is 12 storeys (50 m) high, having a total surface area of approximately 30.000 m2 plus a parking area of 25.000 m2. The building layout is particularly complex: on a square plan with a side of 50 m, it’s formed by two main wings which are connected by a “bridge” element at the 4th floor, thus creating a “C” shaped body and forming an internal courtyard over the main entrance.
Right in the middle of this “C” rises the main meeting room: with a pyramid form on a squared base, completely clad in stone.


  • Unitised façade

  • Double skin curtain walling

  • Ventilated façades

  • Featuring elements

The technology

Naturally ventilated double skin façade
This type of façade is the cladding to the “bridge” body formed in structural steelwork which connects the main reinforced concrete wings from the 4th floor.
The outer skin consists of a fully glazed stick curtain walling system with wide glass panes (3 m). The south elevation is characterised by anodised aluminium profiles acting as sun shading elements, which project about 50 cms from the façade and have a height of 80 cm.
The inner skin consists of a fully glazed window from ground floor to the soffit. The glass panes are extremely transparent, in order to highlight the supporting structure of the building which is contained inside the air space between the two façades.
These two skins are provided with motorised openings, both for natural ventilation of the rooms, and for smoke ventilation.

Façades with glass block spandrel panels This façade represents the most innovative element of the whole project. It is manufactured using highly industrialised process which is able to overcome some of the “light façades” limits and will provide the best performances, such as:

Elevated thermal inertia and consequent low thermal transmittance. Prefabrication and delivery to site of finished elements. Fire resistance of the spandrel area. Elevated light transmission with a low solar factor.

The central vision area consists of a prefabricated aluminium frame with thermal break which has two projecting opening lights, this to provide both natural ventilation and smoke ventilation function as the opening is automatically controlled by the fire fighting system. In order to achieve the specified solar factor and thermal transmission control, the double glazing units consist of:

External pane: 6+6 mm laminated high performance solar control glass. 25mm air space, with an automatically operated venetian blind . Internal pane: 6 mm h.s.t. toughened and heat soak tested clear glass.

The upper and lower spandrel areas consist of two prefabricated stainless steel frames with glass blocks of 299mm x 299mm x 98mm. In order to achieve the best insulation in terms of thermal transmittance and solar factor, a special fibreglass barrier has been inserted into the glass blocks air space to create a double air space. On the inside, close to the glass blocks, there is a glazed second skin. This solution allows the required thermal transmittance values and, in the meantime, it guarantees a low solar factor without penalising natural light ingress to the building.

Natural stone ventilated façades The cladding for the stairwells and the meeting rooms consists of a natural stone ventilated façade.
The stone slabs are 50cm x 80cm and they are fixed by means of a bolted system.
A stainless steel primary structure has been designed in order to reduce as much as possible the points of anchoring on the reinforced concrete structure, and the consequent risk of damaging the reinforcement.
A special manufacturing feature on the slabs, with a 2cm bevel on the vertical side, creates an interesting aesthetical effect of light and shadow on the slab surfaces.


Gregotti Associati International architects

Vittorio Gregotti was born in Novara in 1927 and he graduated in architecture at the University Politecnico di Milano in 1952. From 1953 to 1968 he carried out his activities in collaboration with Ludovico Meneghetti and Giotto Stoppino. In 1974 he has founded the practice Gregotti Associati, which he is president. He was a professor of Architectural Composition at the Institute of Architecture University in Venice, he taught at the Faculty of Architecture of Milan and Palermo, and was visiting professor at the University of Tokyo, Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Lausanne, Harvard, Philadelphia, Princeton, Cambridge (UK) and M.I.T. Cambridge (Massachusetts.). He has participated in several international exhibitions and has been responsible for the introductory section of the XIII Triennale (Milan 1964), for which she won the International Award. From 1974 to 1976 he was director of visual arts and architecture of the Venice Biennale. He is Academic St. Luke from 1976 and the Brera Academy from 1995. He was awarded an honorary degree from the Technical University in Prague in 1996 and the Faculty of Architecture of the Polytechnic of Bucharest in 1999. Since 1997 he is a member of the BDA (Bund der deutschen Architekten) and since 1999 he is an honorary member of the American Institute of Architects. From 1953 to 1955 he was editor of Casabella, from 1955 to 1963 editor of Casabella-Continuity; from 1963 to 1965 Director of Edilizia Moderna and responsible for the architecture section of the magazine Il Verri; from 1979 to 1998 he was Director of Rassegna and from 1982 to 1996 again Director of Casabella. From 1992 to 1997 he collaborated with the BBC since 1997 and works with the main Italian newspapers La Repubblica and Il Corriere della Sera.