The new Milanese home of automation excellence
Maurizio De Paoli
The Italian business unit of the Japanese automation, robotics and computer numerical control giant FANUC recently opened a new headquarters in the Milan area. The architectural and engineering side of the project was handled by Tekne, while architect Maurizio De Paoli was appointed project manager and given responsibility for overall artistic direction and interior design, including everything from the floor layout through to the interior architecture and furnishing decisions.
“From the outset, the site needed to fulfil a diversified set of functions with highly specific requirements: from the warehouse to the showroom, from the offices to the technical laboratories, from the training area to the canteen and from the auditorium to the meeting area. So we began by focusing on the rational distribution of these functions and their interconnections while seeking to optimise the spaces and especially the routes. The resulting architecture reflects and in a certain sense emphasises this multiplicity of functions and consists of a collection of different buildings with a shared image and a coherent language,” says Maurizio De Paoli.
The spatial composition prioritised flexibility and dynamism with the aim of rationalising distribution routes and optimising functions. “These considerations had a major impact on some of the architectural decisions. In the offices, for example, we chose an open-plan layout for all the common and service functions and left large open spaces which are suited to the company’s organisation and internal relationships while allowing for a high degree of flexibility. In particular, they can be adapted at a later date without the need for structural or plant alterations.”
In addition to the necessary spatial flexibility, the project also focused on sustainable and eco-friendly architecture, a principle that was very important to the client and enabled the building to obtain LEED Gold certification.
The materials, and particularly the surface coverings, played an important role in achieving this goal and were chosen not only for their sustainability but also for their high degree of innovation, a concept that fits in perfectly with FANUC’s corporate identity. “With their high performance, outstanding reliability and flexibility of use, porcelain tiles reflect the underlying principles of FANUC products,” confirms Maurizio de Paoli. “The wide range of sizes, surface finishes, textures and colours proved particularly useful for identifying the different areas and their respective functions while maintaining consistency and uniformity coupled with the ease of maintenance and management necessary for an industrial complex.” With this in mind, the architect opted for Floor Gres concrete-effect porcelain tiles for the raised floors in the entrance area, the offices and the meeting rooms; large format tiles (up to 120×280 cm) in the neutral Cloud colour from Casa dolce Casa for the floors and walls in the canteen; and Rawtech series tiles from Floor Gres for the bathrooms. In keeping with the ceramic theme, a black Florimstone porcelain top was chosen for the meeting room tables and the reception desk. “The surface covering materials were also used to identify and differentiate between the various functional areas inside the building, which meant they also played a vital role in terms of distribution routes and orientation,” concludes Maurizio de Paoli.
Floor Gres, Rawtech/
60x60 - 80x180 cm
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): 0,08%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): UH - UHA
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): 140 mm3
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): conforme
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): conforme
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): 50 N/mm2
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): Cl. A+B
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): conforme
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): conforme
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): conforme