It is inspired by ice the evanescent container that Michelangelo Olivieri and his studio m12 AD have designed to accommodate the offices of Menoventi, an Apulian food company specializing in the distribution of high quality frozen foods in the commercial canteen of pastry, bar and bakery.
The company needed to turn a large industrial warehouse into its headquarters, a place that would welcome customers and suppliers, and reflect quality standards of excellence, the core of business culture. For this operation, the owners decided to go to the m12 AD study.
The design of the new Menoventi, developed by architect Michelangelo Olivieri, was inspired by the ice element, its purity and transparency.
The architect then redefined the interior spaces at the shed by imagine a sort of "box in the box": leaving the original building unaltered, it was chosen to place a self-supporting steel structure that would grow in height.
This transparent box welcomes meeting rooms, offices and reception. The entire surface, based on an elegant oak floor, is divided by plasterboard walls with highly reflective surfaces, while the perimeter of the same office, as well as the doors, are completely transparent. The gaze is free to span between interior and exterior. Through the glass element, Michelangelo Olivieri has cleverly coupled with technical needs, a choice of great aesthetic impact. In fact, the shed did not provide the right lighting for the office area, without any facades and openings to the outside. The glass, combined with the brightness of the walls, gives immense light and freshness to the environments, and brings visual contact to the different areas, giving the possibility to constantly monitor production processes.
The glass box is accessed through the zero level of the stack through an input that acts as a front office. On the same level there are also toilets and changing rooms for staff. A resin floor is contrasted with the white walls and the teak coatings of the boiseries.
The cantilevered staircase, folded and subsequently covered with oak, relates the two levels of the structure, and acts as a connection element with the flooring.
The choice of wood is the object of the project: the warmth of teak and oak is in contrast with the rigor and cleanliness of glass and white as well as with the function of the company: to provide suburban products. The glazed surfaces, together with the white and the gloss of the metal, complete the picture of the site, offering the same type of visible reflections on the surface of a glacier.
The project has been designed following the eco-sustainability requirements: LED lighting solutions with strong visual impact have been installed, but are characterized by minimal energy costs.
The recurring element in the m12 AD projects is the utmost care for the details and the use of sophisticated cabinetry solutions that can transform niches, recesses and spaces otherwise unusable into container or furnishing items. The lighting fixtures and furnishings have been commissioned on design and made in-house and hand.
Images: Massimo Di Terlizzi