Studiometrico: Comvert headquarters, Milano

An old 1940s cinema converted into the headquarters of Comvert, exploiting the extensive volume for the construction of a skate bowl.

In Milan, Lorenzo Bini and Francesca Murialdo of Studiometrico have realised the new headquarters of Comvert, an Italian company that manufacturers and distributes clothing for skateboarders and snowboarders under the Bastard brand. The new space had to house offices for 15-20 people, services, a large warehouse for the garments and a covered skateboard ramp for staff and friends, a kind of customised company recreational facility.

The entire volume of the existing building, a cinema designed in the 1940s by engineer Mario Cavallé, 6600 sqm occupied by the old stalls and a balcony of 350 sqm, is conserved in the architectural layout created by the architect couple. Raised six metres up on the structure of the warehouse below is the skate bowl. This 144 sqm bowl made from laminated timber and beams in calendered steel, was designed by Comvert together with the engineering practice Atelier-LC.

Opposite, in order to establish a visual and spatial relationship with the skate bowl, the office for designing the products has been built on the sloping surface of the old cinema balcony. A steel structure, fixed onto the steps, leads to a series of platforms in wood at different heights whose cladding in three-layered larch panels, acts as a balustrade or desk for the individual work-stations. The lower band of the steps of the balcony, used as a showroom for products, has not been altered. The levels have been kept the same, the floor and original handrail have been restored. Access to the lower level is via the connecting staircases to the old foyer, a half-moon space embraced by two curved staircases that act as connecting elements between the two levels.

Bastard Store, Comvert headquarters, Milano
Architects: studiometrico
Structural engineering: Atelier LC
Client: Comvert S.r.l.
Construction: 2008
Built area: 1,400 mq

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