AstraZeneca's new offices are located in Milan in the innovative MIND Village, the Milan Innovation District area where the Expo 2015 buildings are now undergoing conversion according to circular economy principles. When AstraZeneca entrusted us with the design x build project for their new Milan headquarters, the real challenge was to carry out the project applying the principles of sustainable design and construction with a view to obtaining LEED Interior Design + Construction GOLD certification.
Our aim was also to create through design not just a workplace but an experiential environment - in total harmony with the surrounding urban context - that was dynamic, flexible and cutting-edge, where people could feel at ease and where they would be happy to go to work and interact spontaneously with each other.
The re-functionalization work has given new life to an old pavilion in the former Expo 2015 area, preserving and enhancing the internal load-bearing wooden structures that define the DNA of the project and the entire space.
The existing envelope, LEED Gold certified, offers a beautiful space flooded with natural light on two levels, with a strong relationship between indoor and outdoor areas thanks to the inclusion of natural elements: walls with live greenery, plants and flower boxes on the ceiling and integrated with the furniture.
For the interior design we were inspired by the philosophy "Mens sana in corpore sano". A concept that, taking its cue from the various types of emotions that the mind can perceive when moving fluidly in space, is reproduced in the interiors with the creation of multifunctional work areas characterised by a sliding mobility that underlines the idea of a connected and vibrant environment.
The result is an environment that enhances the brand's identity with an approach based on sustainability that improves the ecological quality of the environment, promotes healthy habits, responsible behaviour and respect for the planet. A living, regenerating office that stands out for its abundant use of biophilia - the real star of the space - natural materials such as wood, finishes from a certified supply chain and the introduction of organic, sinuous architectural forms and lines that give rhythm to the interiors, creating a sense of wellbeing for the mind and body and fluidity to enhance the relationship between man and nature.
Spaces are interconnected, designed to promote inclusivity - such as the large social area and the concentration and celebration zones - and improve the quality of work and life of those who inhabit them, putting people first.
Employees are invited to choose from a variety of work areas, and the different types of furniture allow the space to be used in an open and flexible manner: collaborative and recreational zones for spontaneous interaction, niches for individual concentration, phone booths, focus rooms, meeting rooms and small informal lounge areas for conversation. The traditional workstations are organised in work units, with ergonomic seats and desks, some of which are height-adjustable to encourage a change of position during working hours.
Each area of the office stimulates the five senses in a different way and, by incorporating different materials, textures, furnishings and colours designed according to the function of each area to encourage concentration, relaxation and creativity, allows people to enjoy multiple experiences within a unique space.