A vertical city immersed in light

Zumtobel has illuminated the interiors of the Allianz Tower in Milan, one of the skyscrapers that have redesigned the Milan skyline in recent years. Designed by Japanese starchitect Arata Isozaki with Andrea Maffei, the building nicknamed "the straight one" - consists of 50 floors above ground, for a total record height of 207.2 metres, plus 40 metres of antenna. It is a real vertical city, with interiors designed by DEGW, a brand of the Lombardini22 group that designs 360° workplaces.

Fotografie: Marco Cappelletti

The work was based on a careful analysis of the customer's requirements, on the subsequent definition of the relationships between the internal spaces and a careful study of the flows to make the offices, support areas and facilities as functional as possible. The tower was treated as a completely autonomous organism, where the ethos of high and low rise connection allows guests and employees to move between the areas easily, thanks to perfectly indicated paths guiding people between the corridors and to the right lifts. The efficient internal circulation takes into account special plans with precise functions as well as the operational plans.

Fotografie: Marco Cappelletti

The lower part of the building houses an auditorium, training areas and canteen; there are meeting rooms on the 22nd floor, and on the 23rd floor there are rooms for employees such as the cafeteria and the company club. The top two levels are dedicated to top management, while the 47th floor has been converted into the Allianz event space. "The design is intended for comfort, transparency, flexibility and ergonomics," said Alessandro Adamo, director of DEGW and partner of Lombardini22. 

Fotografie: Marco Cappelletti

Zumtobel's work concentrated on the office floors, each of which has an area of around 1,000 square metres and accommodates an average of 80 people every day. The work settings were designed to suit different working modes: there are open space areas for teams located near the glass façades, closed spaces for tasks that require greater concentration, break angles that invite socialisation and small size meeting rooms. The spaces are arranged by means of glass walls that provide separation without creating overly sharp divisions.

Fotografie: Marco Cappelletti

The work furnishings (wardrobes, tables) play on the elegant simplicity of wood and the colour black; underfoot the textile flooring that aids sound absorption, changes colour on each floor following the architectural pattern of the tower. The technology exists to improve the quality of the environments and interactions: great importance was assigned to acoustic comfort and above all to the lighting. The offices are illuminated by natural light from the transparent façades.

Fotografie: Marco Cappelletti

Zumtobel's work centred on the operational areas of the offices, where specially designed recessed luminaires were installed for this project. This is a customised version of the Panos Evolution downlights, luminaires designed by Chris Redfern of Sottsass Associati and inspired by the perfection of the oculus of the Pantheon, where light and architecture come together in a harmonious whole. Simple and small, but powerful and effective at the same time, Panos Evolution looks to the future.

Fotografie: Marco Cappelletti

Luminaires with faceted aluminium reflector fitted with a sputtering system were used for the Allianz Tower in Milan. The powers used are 17 W and 23 W, with UGR<19. The special products, complete with DALI power supply unit, have a diameter of 200 mm in the trimless version with coplanar installation without cover frame. A special modification to the retrofit ring made the frameless application possible. Unlike the standard versions of this Panos Evolution, this project needed a higher colour rendering. So Zumtobel applied an adhoc LED; custom downlights have a higher CRI (Ra>90) and a colour temperature of 3000 K (standard downlights have a lower CRI, Ra>80).

Customer: Allianz

Place: Mailand

Area: 47 000 Quadratmeter

DEGW Services: workplace change management, space planning, interior design, lighting design and acoustics, practices fire prevention, work direction

Project team:

Alessandro Adamo - Client Leader

Eva Birch - Senior Architect

Margherita Censi -Architect

Fotos: Marco Cappelletti

Text: Francesca Tagliabue


Fotografie: Marco Cappelletti