The Box’s new premises are situated in an 18th Century building in the heart of Milan, in Piazza Bertarelli 4. The 200 sqm space, accessible from the building’s first courtyard, has undergone extensive renovation, while respecting the site’s original features.
The project was conducted on two different levels. The first, of a conservative nature, aimed to recover as much as possible, such as the leaded, cement-marble tiles, the wooden doors and windows, and the open beams discovered when restoring the ceilings. From a decorative and structural standpoint, instead, the architects were careful to avoid any construction work that might weaken a building with a strong character and yet a delicate structure. With this in mind, a complex system of supporting walls, furnishing elements and suspended ceilings were designed, providing a sort of “second skin” behind which the systems and installations could be concealed.
The complexity of the structure and the distribution of the zones dictated formal choices that were just as complex and varied, such as the creation of blockboard wood panelling, custom-made hidden cabinets, wooden suspended ceilings finished like parquet floors, portals connecting one room to another with bronzed brass sheets, supporting walls in roasted and milled cork, and baseboards in recovered oak.
The study of colours was also based on the recovery of pre-existing hues and on a functional analysis. The elements applied to the four walls of the individual rooms feature either intense green, petrol blue or terracotta, depending on their use. Supporting walls covered with small natural oak staves alternate with portions painted in deep grey. The masonry ceilings and walls and the wooden windows and doors are a light, warm grey, except in the materials area, where a dark grey ceiling and back walls show up the finishes and materials to perfection. Lighting formed an integral part of the project right from the initial design phases, and constitutes a “fil rouge” that links the various areas. Its simplicity is in stark contrast with the more decorative elements distributed throughout the premises.
The project was conceived and coordinated by the Architect Cristian Minerva, and represents a manifesto of the design and execution know how of The Box, which blends excellent wood and metal craftsmanship with the unusual use of industrial products, and the meticulous selection of furnishings and accessories.
duty    Design and execution of construction and installation works, outfitting, site specific art