RCS Area Refurbishment - Building B5

  • Milan

  • 2012

  • Contractor Altair I.F.M.

  • Photos: Piermario Ruggeri

This building is part of the Development RCS Media Group Headquarters

THE PROJECT The B5 building is part of a development, still under construction, intended for the headquarters of a major Italian publishers, Rizzoli Corriere della Sera Media Group, which has relocated its offices to an area North-East of Milan This building consists of 5 storeys above ground and includes a facade whose fundamental purpose is to provide an element of continuity with the other buildings of the development. The entire building, including the ground floor of the inner court, on which open the several accesses, is cladded with fritted and coloured glazing with the additional presence of vertical glass brise-soleil fins. These elements, together with the vertical blocks of colouring into which it is divided and give the building its image, represent the basic matrix on which all the thoughts and the subsequent design choices have been developed. The building has a simple three dimensional shape, whose surface is articulated by the recessed windows and enriched by the vertical brise-soleils. The search for balance between these and other architectural elements, such as the use of spandrel panels, generates, through a careful composition, an active and changing façade. The building consists of a series of layers which create an intriguing effect to the basic modules of the façade. These features not only create a pleasing visual effect, but work technically to enhance the internal environment of the building.


  • Stick curtain walling system

  • Double skin curtain walling

  • Featuring elements

The technology

Designed in Energy Efficiency Class A, B5 building is a parallelepiped with glass facades which, by its composition, resembles the image of a barcode. The B5 building, overlooking the inner square, is featured with a rectangular plan and consists of 6 levels (5 above ground and one below ground), 3 entrance areas, two pedestrian walkways and parking accesses, and a connecting tunnel that crosses the entire building from East to West The technology of the building has been developed on the concept of ventilated façade with insulated cavity, alternated with structural silicone glazed units. East, West and South elevations have vertical sun shading fins on a "body tinted" glass base, which are fixed by structural silicone beads The ventilated façade has been designed with the juxtaposition of enameled trichromatic structural modules on low-iron glass base and the use of bespoke flat aluminum panels. The average thermal transmittance performance is lower than 0.75 W/m2 ° K and the sound insulation performance is above 48db, the photochromic values for glazed parts are: light transmission (LT) equal to 66%, solar factor (g) 37 %, and external light reflection (RLE) 12%. The complexity of the different interfaces and different materials used has created an effective union between colour and form, thus highlighting the geometric pattern of more than 5500 structural silicone modules.


Barreca & La Varra Architects

Gianandrea Barreca and Giovanni La Varra founded their studio Barreca & La Varra in 2008. The studio is characterized for their use of new advanced technologies of construction and their experimentation with a complex urban and architectural language that responds to the evolving traits of contemporary society and the complexity of economic, social and institutional structures that today compose cities, sites and affect the environment we live in. Born in 1969 in Genoa, Gianandrea Barreca is one of the founders of Group A12. Since 2006 he has collaborated with Domus Academy in Milan as Director of the Master’s Program in Urban Vision and Architectural Design. Since 2009 he has taught Architectural Composition at the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Architecture of Genoa. Born in 1967 in Milan, Giovanni La Varra teaches Composition and Urban Design at the Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning of the Politecnico of Milan and Urban Planning at the School of Humanities of the Università Statale in Milan. With the research group Multiplicity he has realized studies and installations on contemporary urban conditions. From September 2009 to April 2011 he was an advisor to the planning board of the Expo 2015.