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The project, signed by Claudio Lucchin & Architetti Associati, aims to rethink the identity of an entire neighbourhood under the banner of sustainability and technological innovation

A large Mondrian-inspired ark launched in Milan. This is “Arca” (Ark), the zero-emission building realised to be the new headquarters of CAP Group. It was designed entirely in accordance with the criteria of sustainable architecture, and its strong identity perfectly matches the most advanced green solutions. It is also a barrier-free multifunctional space, designed to welcome the citizens of the entire neighbourhood in which it stands.

The Headquarters of CAP Group has been inaugurated today in the presence of Attilio Fontana, President of the Lombardy Region, and Giancarlo Tancredi, Councillor for Urban Regeneration of the City of Milan.

Located in Via Rimini, a few steps away from the Romolo underground station, the Ark of CAP Group is an ambitious architectural project designed by Claudio Lucchin & Architetti Associati that aims to make an important contribution to the redevelopment of this area, which is located on the outskirts of the city, is predominantly residential but is also dotted with significant spaces such as the IULM University, NABA and Superstudio Maxi, and hosts important companies such as Italgas, NTT and AON.

Standing 30 metres high and covering a surface area of 11,250 m2 on six floors and a basement, the building develops horizontally, truly assuming the form of a ship whose pointed prow, raised above the ground, gives the illusion of being able to plough through the waves, while at the same time also allowing, as in the most traditional biblical iconography, direct access to its interior without barriers or dividing walls.

Every aspect (energetic, environmental and economic) of the most advanced sustainable architecture has been interpreted with rigour in this building: from the choice of materials for the outer shell, made of lava stone from a 17th-century flow, to the 422 solar panels that guarantee almost 70% energy autonomy. For heating and cooling, an ingenious system has been devised that uses appropriately filtered surface groundwater or rainwater (to avoid wasting precious drinking water), with optimal air controlled thermal regulation.

Large and energy-inefficient windows have been abandoned, and the building features 430 ribbon windows with orthogonal motifs, each one different from the others, irregularly distributed, recalling the conformation of the canals and water networks that characterise the metropolitan area, at same time also recalling the fascination of one of Piet Mondrian's most iconic works: Compositie in Lijn. In this way, natural light is diffused through carefully balanced façade perforations, while a series of large light wells allow visual connection between floors and light penetration into the central area of the building.

Thanks to these and other architectural and engineering choices, the new headquarters of the CAP Group has already obtained the “Net Zero Energy Buildings” certificate and LEED Gold certificate, as it meets the requirements of each of the 6 macro-categories foreseen, and has got a sufficient number of scores between site sustainability; efficient management of water, energy and the environment; recyclable and recycled materials and resources; control of air quality in the built environment; and high levels of design and innovation.

The new headquarters accommodates around 500 people and, in addition to open spaces and offices, also includes a café-bar, an auditorium with a capacity of 200 seats, an exhibition space to host initiatives and events aimed at citizens as well, a day nursery that is not exclusively corporate, a library and a large square open to all citizens.

The day nursery, to open in September, will be managed by Pulcini & Co., the children's division of the Elior Ristorazione SpA group dedicated to children's services. The company specialises in offering specific solutions for companies and public institutions for the pedagogical and nutritional management of day nurseries, with a view to improving work-life balance. Also in September, the Arca café-bar, open to the everyone from breakfast until late at night, and managed by Arca Milano, will be operational. It will be a real Cocktail Bar & Bistro, complete with a garden, offering the opportunity to eat at any time of the day, and, in the evening, to have drinks while listening to a deejay set or live music, or while attending a show.