30 May 2019

Milan’s design culture: life stories as told by the Achille Castiglioni Foundation
Achille Castiglioni: the city

“as a seasoned Milanese I know that this city, notwithstanding all its contradictions, is a place in which one can work happily in an international spirit.
This is it: I’d like all the transformations that are taking place now to make Milan into a city in which all those who live here and the many people who come here from other places will be able to continue to work in an international spirit for a good deal longer.”

Achille Castiglioni, 1987

Chamber of Commerce of Industry and Agriculture, 1958

“A nineteenth-century Milanese palazzo, partly destroyed during the war. It was rebuilt to house the new premises of the Chamber of Commerce of Agriculture and Industry – the façade was repaired and the interior transformed.

A monumental and difficult task, given the restrictions of the area, the openings in the ancient façade, and the need for functional links with the adjacent institutions (the existing Stock Market and Grain Market).

[...] particular attention to the solution for the luminous ceilings – ceilings that contain not just the lighting system but also the sound, radio and heating systems, becoming the most important wall surface in the space in technical and plastic terms.

While talking to the presidents of the various associations, the management and heads of the Chamber’s various service departments, with the directors, staff and ushers at the various stock and other markets, all were unanimous in their desire; they each needed to be able to receive the general public at ground floor level, and almost all wanted areas of at least twice the size!

…. Although many of these requests appeared not to have been formulated with an eye to overall operability […] it is true to say that Chamber services […] need to have public desks on the ground floor, accessed directly from the street, and sufficient space for the future development of a continuously increasing workload.

… we designed the project with the Business Office on one single floor (the ground floor), housing the staff, typists, secretary, all the paperwork and the public consultation room in one single space.

This solution responded to the specifications in the annex to the call for tenders (a room that contains sufficient shelving for the paperwork – 400,000 items, and 20 employees) … and saves several precious square metres of surface area on the ground floor and which, in our opinion, is the ideal modern solution for an office that needs to have 400,000 documents immediately to hand.

Achille and Piergiacomo Castiglioni

#Achille Castiglioni, #Piergiacomo Castiglioni, #Chamber of Commerce of Industry and Agriculture, #Milano, #architecture, #rebuilding, #ceilings, #façade