MD’s new logistics centre in the town of Cortenuova in the province of Bergamo, the largest facility of its kind for the discount retail sector anywhere in Italy, stands out for its bright, practical and contemporary spaces designed to facilitate working activities.

According to architect Bruno De Rivo, the founder and partner of the firm e45 Genuine Italian Design, the project involved transforming an agricultural area into MD’s logistics centre. “We worked on the interior of the office building, a structure designed by Carlo Paolo Perletti, and contributed to the creation of the modular workspace grid. The central lightwell allows overhead light to flood in, creating a flexible space surrounded by meeting rooms used to host meetings, events and product presentations.”

The workspaces are organised according to the specific tasks: “We envisaged different layouts, ranging from open spaces to private phone booths and meeting rooms with high tables for quick, informal meetings, with remote connectivity in keeping with the new hybrid working methods typical of the post-pandemic era.”

The interiors have a contemporary look and feature ceramic surfaces from Cotto d’Este. “We designed the MD hub at the height of the lockdown. Our priority was to create spaces that could be easily cleaned, washed and sanitised, so we opted for ceramics right from the start. For the flooring in the reception area, the lightwell and the main staircase, we used the Kerlite 6plus Pietra d’Iseo collection in the 6.5 mm thick Ceppo version, a reference to the Lombardy tradition and the Ceppo di Grè stone widely used for the construction of Milan’s historical buildings, villas and monuments. For the floors in the administration and management offices, we chose the Vanity collection inspired by the aesthetics of the most elegant marble in a large 120×120 cm size and 6.5 mm thickness. The tiles were installed using Kerlite Easy, a certified and patented dry-laying solution for floors consisting of thin Kerlite ceramic slabs. We selected the Lithos collection in the colour Stone with a natural finish for the secondary staircase, a surface that faithfully captures the tactile quality of stone and the aesthetics of the most exclusive marble varieties.”

The project shows how it is possible to create workspaces that put the environment and people first. “At our practice, we strive to adopt highly effective and environmentally friendly solutions and materials. The choice of radiant ceiling panels has halved the costs of heating and cooling, while the envelope stands out for its low thermal transmittance. It also eliminates the annoyances of air conditioning, such as the unpleasant sensation of cold air on your back in the summer. Finally, Cotto d’Este tile collections also include a percentage of recycled material,” a characteristic that is unquestionably a benefit for the environment.