Casacomvert !

December 24th, 2007

comvert-logo-2

We are finally able to post an ‘almost’ complete set of pictures and drawings concerning a project that has kept us busy for more than one year: The new home of Comvert s.r.l, the italian clothing company that produces and distributes Bastard. Few years ago Comvert asked studiometrico to look for a location for its new headquarter in Milan; the place should have been large enough to host offices for 15-20 people, services, a big storage for their products and an indoor skatebowl for employees, team riders and friends. In spring 2005 we eventually found a Cinema theater from the 50′s that really suited Comvert needs and few months ago – after the conclusion of the refurbishment works – the company has moved into its new home: Casacomvert!

Conceptual diagrams

We have tried to establish few principles that could help us to deal with the existing space: the cinema theater designed by Ing. Mario CavallĂ© has been perceived as something to preserve, a valuable example in a city like Milan that has apparently forgotten how to produce ‘good architecture’. The following diagrams are a brief attempt to establish basic rules to add new layers within the existing environment without overwriting it, our 5 rules to avoid succumbing to architecture.

5-riles-det

Ground floor plan

On the ground level plan – the former foyer of the cinema – constituted by a regular square room facing the street – will be turned into the first bastard flagship store. The ‘half-moon’ shaped space, flanked by two curved staircases leading to the upper balcony, has been transformed into offices for the administrative department. Through this joint element is possible to enter the space of the former pit, now occupied by the two storey metal structure of the storage. Few service spaces, toilets, kitchen, an archive, an enclosed office, and an access courtyard complete the ground floor layout.

ground-floor-det

Longitudinal section

This schematic longitudinal section shows in a sequence from left to right: the bastard store and the administrative department in the spaces of the former foyer, the creative department built on top of the balcony, the storage that occupies the area of the old pit and, on top of it, the skate bowl that is going to be built in the first one or two months of 2008.

big-section-det

Upper floor plan

The upper level plan shows the creative department built as a number of wooden platforms of different height on the existing balcony and the 144 sqm skate bowl that is going to be installed above the storage structure.

upper-floor-det

Constructive diagrams

The following Diagrams explain the constructive system of the platforms that constitute the office spaces of the creative department.

  • Steel columns have been placed on the concrete bearing structure of the balcony
  • Horizontal steel beams have been welded to the vertical columns
  • Wooden beams and osb panels have been bolted on the horizontal beams
  • 3-layered wooden panles have been placed to clad the platforms and to create furnished banisters.

diagrammi-pedane-det

Maquette of creative department

The office spaces above the existing balcony have been conceived and developed with a 1:50 scale cardboard maquette. The actual design, which is described by the previous diagrams, is eventually different from the one described by the maquette. The final version has been infact adjusted and re-organized on the existing structure of the balcony. The main reason is that the full comprehension of the bearing structure of the balcony was only possible as demolition works started.

comvert-model-069

comvert-model-009

comvert-model-023

comvert-model-033

comvert-model-041

Pictures of the buidling site

The following pictures are a selection of the ones we have been shooting during our visits to the building site. The first sequence of photographs focuses on the construction of the creative department platforms, which has been the most challenging and exciting part of the project.

comvert-construction-01

comvert-construction-02

comvert-construction-03

comvert-construction-04

comvert-construction-05

comvert-construction-06

comvert-construction-07

comvert-construction-09

comvert-construction-10

comvert-construction-11

comvert-construction-12

comvert-construction-13

comvert-construction-15

comvert-construction-16

comvert-construction-17

comvert-construction-18

comvert-construction-19

comvert-construction-20

comvert-construction-21

The administrative department offices on the ground floor have been realized with same materials and similar constructive principle. On the slightly sloping marble floor of the foyer we have added another wooden platform that could leave the existing pavement untuched, provide a flat surface and host electrical installations.

comvert-construction-22

comvert-construction-23

comvert-construction-24

comvert-construction-25

Pictures of the ‘squatted’ headquarters

At the end of the summer Comvert has eventually managed to move in its new home! Nevertheless the project is not completely finished… The bastard store and the bastard bowl will come very soon and we are still working on a good deal of finishings, furnitures and details. We are therefore not really able (but then again, shall we ever be?..) to show jet those slick pictures that you often see on architecture magazines where everything is clean, neat and into place… Comvert staff was just too eager to take control of their new headquarters and… they did!

comvert-final-03

comvert-final-04

comvert-final-06

comvert-final-07

comvert-final-08

comvert-final-09

comvert-final-11

comvert-final-13

comvert-final-14

see also previous posts about this project:

Refurbishing a Cinema theater in Milan

Refurbishing a Cinema theater in Milan | 2

Refurbishing a Cinema theater in Milan | 3

Building Bastard Bowl

Tags: , , , , , , ,

One Response to “Casacomvert !”

  1. jep Says:

    …so the reason why bastard did it is D&G e Versace:
    http://milano.repubblica.it/dettaglio/Le-griffe-della-moda-vanno-al-cinema/1410485
    oh no no no

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.