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23/03/2021 | INNOVATION

KENGO KUMA: THE OFFICE OF THE FUTURE IN MILAN

Posted by: Chiara Ferella Falda

We hosted him at Superdesign Show 2018 with his monumental installation "Breath/ng", a great white origami that breathed and purified air. We published him in “Design Super Show” book as one of the most charismatic presences in these 20 years of design at Superstudio. We met Kengo Kuma in a video conference from Tokyo during "Welcome, feeling at work" press presentation, the innovative eco&green building that will be built in Milan.  

Rooftops, lush gardens, vegetable gardens, open-air courtyards, restaurants, lounges, shops, a supermarket, a wellness area and spaces for events and exhibitions. A new residential complex in town? No, offices. 
Precisely the first biophilic office in Milan, a project looking to the future and whose sole purpose it's to make working days more livable, encourage people's well-being in a location in close dialogue with nature. 
It's scientifically proven that natural elements, greenery, light, air, even free access to our pets, are able to develop creativity and performance, as well as improve health and stress. No wonder that the independent Europa Risorse platform has called for the construction of "Welcome, feeling at work" financed by PineBridge Benson Elliot fund, the architect Kengo Kuma, undisputed global interpreter of organic architecture that has always proposed buildings integrating perfectly with natural context. 
“Relationship between the built and landscape represents a link between architecture and community. We need to listen to nature, connect to landscape, not to overwhelm it with great objects because this listening attitude creates the right reaction between people, society they are part of, nature and cosmos" says Kengo Kuma. 
The imposing Welcome yard, 50,000 square meters in Lambro Park area, will be completed in 2024 and will be built in the former Rizzoli area, with the aim of redeveloping the whole site and attracting people and nature as in a single living system. The project develops horizontally but with a trickle-down effect: not a barrier nor a monument, but a permeable place in every direction, in a combination of accessibility and transparency. The complex is structured in six flexible, stratified and intertwined parts, which open up like natural amphitheaters towards the Park. 
With regard to materials, organic materials have been favored: “Reducing concrete, giving priority to wood: in Japan we work a lot with wood, even with straw, also for the most contemporary buildings. I love to create buildings that look like forests, surrounded by the warmth of wood. After the pandemic, people want to feel naturalness, perceive nature even in town” said Kengo Kuma during the press conference at the Triennale. 
Zero CO2 emissions, renewable energy use, consumption control, Leed Platinum energy efficiency; compliance with anti Covid 19 guidelines; circularity in building materials and their use; no fossil fuel. On these mainstays Welcome presents itself as the most advanced ecological intervention in Europe. 

Kengo Kuma's project for the "cascade" office complex integrated with the landscape, in a combination of accessibility and transparency.
Organic materials favoring wood, zero emissions, use of renewable energy and control of consumption, will be the characteristics of Welcome, feeling at work.
Breath / ng, installation of fabric capable of absorbing air pollution presented at the Superdesign Show 2018 for Dassault Systèmes.
Kengo Kuma from the new book Design Super Show, by Gisella Borioli, to remember twenty years of design at Superstudio in Milan

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