Milan / Italy / 2008-Ongoing
Atelier and centrepiece sculpture for Notify's new base in Milan
Net Area: 715 m2
Executive Architect: Pierandrei Associates
Structural Engineer: Buro Happold
Ron Arad Architects were commissioned by Notify Jeans in November 2007 to transform a disused 1930’s factory in central Milan into a modern day atelier/ showroom in which to exhibit its collections each season, as well as accommodate a range of temporary exhibitions from various creative fields. In operating within the fabric of this old building, one of the challenges has been to respect the existing, whilst also aiming to create a distinctly contemporary space and exhibition experience.
From the outset, the strategy was to focus on the existing atrium that spans from the ground floor to the roof (2 floors above). The only significant proposed modification to the building will be to create an opening in the ground floor, pulling the atrium down to the basement. Thus, the stage is set for a sweeping architectural gesture, vertically connecting and communicating between the different levels of the building.
Mirror polished stainless steel strips climb out of the basement, twisting as they move through the atrium and out on to the roof terrace where they form a canopy. These steel strips collectively form a funnel-like object that carries natural light from the outside, via the roof, and down to the basement, diffusing along the way. The twists in the strips form a fluid and changing screen - revealing things from certain angles whilst obscuring them from others.