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New premises in Milan for ERCO Italy

6 February 2009 12.00 BST

(Italy) - The specialist team of ERCO in Italy get the show on the road from their new offices in an attractive industrial building.

Even in Milan, Italy’s design metropolis, structures are changing: The old classical industry is leaving its factories on the outskirts of the city and these abandoned properties offer young technology, service and creative sector companies attractive development opportunities. It is in just such a region, in the northeast of Milan, not too far from the Pirelli headquarters on Viale Sarca that ERCO Italy has now opened a new showroom.

This conveniently located former extensive gated industrial complex of “Breda Elettromeccanica” consists of a classic brick built hall with an impressive sawtooth roof. For many decades, these buildings were used as production facilities for railway transformers. Recently the architects, Deborah Bucca and Pietro Belloni (bb & architetture) have produced a convincing re-interpretation of the complex as a contemporary place of work.

Through a typical gated entrance one arrives at “Edificio Sedici / Building 16“, in which ERCO now resides. In the courtyard, a long, narrow water feature, lined by filigree trees, establishes the Mediterranean roots. To provide an equally striking appearance after dark, the architects devised appropriate effects both on the outside of the showroom and across the entire grounds using ERCO’s outdoor lighting tools.

The layout of the building facade and the gate house are ideal for demonstrating different types of vertical lighting for outdoor applications. Tesis recessed floor luminaires with narrow beam provide dramatic rhythm to the gated entrance. The reverse concept is used to provide the walls of the courtyard with structure. Here narrow beam Grasshopper projectors with sculpture lenses are on the columns between the high windows emphasising the pedestrian zone adjacent to the building. For the glittering opening on 18 September 2008, ERCO’s Focalflood varychrome floodlights provided coloured light which dressed the antique industrial facades for a party.

For the inside which consists of a ground floor of 320sqm and an upper floor of 200sqm, the architects and ERCO’s design team devised a room concept that is optimally tailored to the portfolio. This was then implemented using colours, materials, details and lighting solutions which are typical for ERCO. The ground floor accommodates the reception, office workplaces and service rooms.

The passage to the mock-up area, which makes full use of the height of the hall, incorporates a bar counter for informal meetings of both visitors and staff. An imposing flight of steel stairs leads up to the gallery level which contains the conference room and further workplaces.

The glass-encased office gallery to the mock-up area can be darkened using roller blinds as can its windows to the outside, to create ideal conditions for lighting demonstrations. The mock-up area has a ceiling which can be raised and lowered, which carries a wealth of spotlights on a track system, as well as recessed ceiling luminaires and wallwashers. This is run from a Light System DALI control installation providing the perfect technical infrastructure to simulate many different lighting applications.

Inevitably the sphere-topped column, the visual hallmark of all ERCO showrooms, is the centre-piece. Exemplary lighting solutions for circulation areas, work spaces, conference room and cafeteria can all be experienced on the premises. Wherever appropriate, vertical illumination ensures optimal perception of the architecture and provides efficient visual comfort by enhancing the impression of brightness in the room. The intention of ERCO to be a competent “consultant to the consultant” during both the design and construction phases, is evident to the a discriminating clientel.


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