Milan continues to grow and expand. Just like Lombardini22, leader of the Top 50 Italian architecture and design firms in terms of sales in 2018, and Inter, the club acquired by the Chinese giant Suning, which is revitalizing it on all fronts: from the playing field to marketing, by way of infrastructure. This process also involves the departure of the “black and blue” team from its headquarters with a view of the cathedral on Corso Vittorio Emanuele, moving to the building in the Porta Nuova district known as The Corner.
The project coordinated by Lombardini22 projects the team into the future, with an accent on ecosustainability and design on a human scale. The world of Inter occupies the building from the 6th to 10th floor (total area 4000 m2), to house the executive and sport areas, over 200 employees, workspaces, Inter Heritage and a trophy room. The main feature is a terrace of 800 square meters on the 11th floor, for a view that takes in the San Siro stadium where both Milanese teams play their matches.
Alessandro Adamo, architect and director of DEGW, the brand of Lombardini22, told us about the details of the project.
What were the requests advanced by the club?
The starting point for the whole project was the need to create an iconic headquarters, with a forceful personality. This objective guided the choice of the building – The Corner designed by Atelier(s) Alfonso Femia inside the Garibaldi-Repubblica area – and the interior design. Large spaces have been set aside for interaction between guests and the clients, through new spatial formulas and concepts of innovation, sharing, speed, internationalism and wellbeing, in an environment of great image intensity.
Which areas form the headquarters inside ‘The Corner’?
The 6th, 7th and 8th floors are for operative functions, with offices for employees and collaborators, while the 9th is an area for guests and meetings with people from outside the organization (with the terrace, the experience area, the Trophy Room, the Media House Studio), and the 10th is for the executives.
What are the differences in the design of offices for a sports team, as opposed to a normal company?
The team and its fans wanted a forceful collective image. For us – and this is also true for all the large corporations with which we work – a brand is much more than a symbol, a sign or a graphic language; the office is its holistic representation. DEGW, together with FUD, the branch of Gruppo Lombardini22 specializing in branding and communication, has created a space that could only be a location for Inter.
Starting with the history of the team and its values, we have transformed the spaces into tools of communication through a custom project. The objective achieved has been to formulate a true brand experience, completing the architectural space and generating memorable impact on the people who interact with it, while facilitating their orientation.
What is the concept of the terrace?
The terrace is a platform open to the city, which can welcome guests for private events, DJ sets, meetings, lunches, relaxing moments. The area is protected by pergolas and plantings, and we have installed a lawn with an accent on play, where the theme of greenery and natural materials is fully developed.
How have you chosen to represent the history of the team? What values did they want to transmit?
The history and identity of the team emerge above all on the 9th floor, where the accent is on image and communication. In particular, the most representative spaces of the history of Inter are the Trophy Room, a circular island of trophies topped by a continuous ring of suspended images, like icons in motion (a display solution that is also the result of a co-design workshop conducted by me and my team at DEGW); the Inter Heritage space, an experiential installation in which to explore the history of the team, with displays of memorabilia and a timeline of the crucial moments of the team; the Orologio room, where the bar counter and various seats suggest convivial food & beverage consumption, named for the restaurant where the club was founded.
The physical branding extends to the whole facility, first of all in the signage system, with pictograms based on concepts of asymmetry and movement, with an abstract interpretation of the flags of the countries that have marked the history of the team. Each meeting room is dedicated to one country connected with the history of Inter.
Which suppliers have been involved in the interior design of the new Inter headquarters?
The main suppliers for the interior design of the Inter HQ are: Ethimo, Cassina, Vannucci Piante, Molteni and UniFor (for the special furnishings), Estel, Omnitex, Ecocontract, Fonolab, Vetroin, HW Style, Telmotor.