An industrial heritage
The project by Alessandro Villa Studio for the new headquarters of Mozzanica, a Lombardy-based company specialising in fire-fighting solutions, aimed to transform an existing production site into a large multifunctional complex. The work involved expanding and reorganising the premises into three main areas — offices, production and a training area — as well as enlarging the existing office spaces and the ground floor, extending the upper floor warehouse, and building an extension to the main factory. From his studio in Monza, Alessandro Villa designs and supervises projects for homes, offices, shops and showrooms and also provides design, graphics and communication services. His latest projects include the headquarters of the Dorland Ayer advertising agency in Milan, the pilot store for the Liberti franchise chain, the Lorenzo Riva fashion house’s flagship store and this recently inaugurated corporate headquarters project.
The entrance to the renovated building opens onto a large double-height lobby with a metal staircase leading to the first floor offices. The lobby also opens onto the auditorium, where a demonstration container with fire extinguishing equipment is installed next to the classroom. All visitor areas are designed as fluid, communicating spaces that can be adapted to host special events. The windows and movable walls allow natural light to reach deep inside the building and into the first-floor offices that open onto the double-height lobby or the production area.
Architect Alessandro Villa comments: «The materials and colours were chosen to reflect those of the site’s original industrial building and display powerful contrasts. The brand is referenced by the partition elements, surfaces and a few red coloured furnishings.»
Large porcelain surfaces from Marazzi’s Grande Stone Look Ceppo di Gré Grey collection were chosen for the entrance, the auditorium and the large full-height lobby. With a thickness of just 6 mm, they enhance the architectural quality of the interior space, giving the walls the appearance of meticulously designed building façades.
«We opted for this solution to convey the sensation of durability typically associated with architectural structures and to give the space the look of an indoor plaza, a communal yet private place,» continues Alessandro Villa. The choice of finish inspired by Ceppo di Gré draws from the widespread Milanese tradition of using this stone to clad façade bases during the post-war period (the reason why it is also referred to as «Milanese concrete»).
«The texture and tactility of the Ceppo di Gré finish matches perfectly with industrial-style honed concrete floors,» explains the architect. «With its excellent levels of performance, Marazzi’s Grande Stone Look Ceppo di Gré collection is ideal for installation not just in residential settings but also in public spaces and high traffic areas that require special characteristics of durability and ease of maintenance.»
The brightly coloured Eclettica collection, again in the form of thin, large-size slabs, is used in the bathrooms, where the warm and compact Purple coloured surface alternates with the Diamond 3D textured finish.
Marazzi: Grande Stone Look Ceppo di Grè, Eclettica
60x60, 40x120, 120x240, 160x320 cm
grey, white, purple
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): conforme
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): conforme
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): conforme
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): conforme
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): conforme
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): conforme
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): conforme