oscar niemeyer's palazzo mondadori offices in milan renovated by carlo ratti associati

oscar niemeyer's palazzo mondadori offices in milan renovated by carlo ratti associati

Reimagining Palazzo Mondadori’s Workspaces

 

International design and innovation firm Carlo Ratti Associati (CRA), in collaboration with the late Italo Rota and Maestro Technologies, has completed the first phase of a renovation project for Palazzo Mondadori in Milan. Owned by Generali Real Estate and housing the headquarters of the Mondadori Group, the building is a landmark designed by the renowned architect Oscar Niemeyer. CRA’s design honors Niemeyer’s original vision while introducing innovative strategies for the future of work. The initial phase focuses on over 20,000 square meters of office space, with a wider renovation of the entire building planned for the future.

oscar niemeyer's palazzo mondadori offices in milan renovated by carlo ratti associatiimages © DSL Studio: Delfino Sisto Legnani, Melania Delle Grave

 

 

a radical approach to furniture

 

A core aspect of the Mondadori renovation by Carlo Ratti Associati is a radical approach to furniture. Working with Maestro Technologies, CRA refurbished over 1,300 pieces of the building’s original USM modular furniture. These classic post-war pieces were carefully disassembled and reassembled, incorporating wood and creating new reconfigurable modules. These include features like planters, seamlessly integrating nature into the workspace.

 

Office spaces need to become more like playgrounds to draw people out of their comfort zone,’ says Carlo Ratti, founding partner of CRA and curator of the Biennale Architettura 2025. ‘The traditional cubicle layout hinders innovation and interaction, as depicted in Jacques Tati’s film ‘Playtime.’ Encouraging physical movement and informal encounters is crucial, and a reconfigurable environment fosters this.’

oscar niemeyer's palazzo mondadori offices in milan renovated by carlo ratti associati
CRA revamps Milanese offices with reconfigurable furniture and a focus on interaction

 

 

carlo ratti preserves the legacy of oscar niemeyer

 

The reimagined space includes desks that promote informal interaction across all five floors. New transparent meeting rooms enhance a sense of continuity, allowing for movement and connection with the surrounding natural environment. The furniture layout maximizes natural light, further highlighting the beauty of the building and fostering a deeper connection with the park. Palazzo Mondadori, built between 1968 and 1975, exemplifies Niemeyer’s signature style.

 

The main structure is a unique suspended glass box supported by parabolic arches, creating the illusion of floating above an artificial lake designed by landscape architect Pietro Porcinai. CRA’s task was to revitalize the office spaces, once cutting-edge for the 1970s, and imbue them with renewed innovation.

oscar niemeyer's palazzo mondadori offices in milan renovated by carlo ratti associati
the first phase of the renovation focuses on 20,000 square meters of office space

 

 

The Mondadori Group’s offices represent Carlo Ratti Associati’s ongoing exploration of future-oriented workspace design, with a focus on encouraging meaningful connections between people. This project joins other notable examples by CRA, including CapitaSpring in Singapore, recognized for its vertical urbanism and integration of green spaces, and the Fondazione Agnelli in Turin. CRA also maintains a connection to Niemeyer’s legacy, having worked on the master plan for Brasilia’s Biotic project, a new district dedicated to technology and innovation that complements the original Plano Piloto planned by Niemeyer and Lucio Costa.

oscar niemeyer's palazzo mondadori offices in milan renovated by carlo ratti associati
over 1,300 units of original USM furniture are refurbished and enhanced
oscar niemeyer's palazzo mondadori offices in milan renovated by carlo ratti associati
new furniture integrates planters, blurring the lines between workspace and nature

mondadori-office-playground-carlo-ratti-associati-designboom-06a

new meeting rooms create a sense of continuity and connection

oscar niemeyer's palazzo mondadori offices in milan renovated by carlo ratti associati
the furniture layout maximizes natural light, complementing the building’s design

mondadori-office-playground-carlo-ratti-associati-designboom-08a

Carlo Ratti Associati’s project breathes new life into a 1970s landmark

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