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Wheels of Success: General Electric Office Building in Milan


GaS Studio was invited by  General Electric Capital Real Estate to develop a refurbishment project for an existing building, ”The Gate”, in the center of Milan close to a new business district called Porta Nuova. The main focus for the project was to create an energy efficient and technologically advanced building with a new ”image” to it. GE wanted the building to highlight their commitment towards sustainable architecture and saving energy, and as in all office building refurbishment projects, improving commercial value also played an important role.

The Gate is an L-shaped office building, which rises nine floors above ground. The ground floor hosts a double height hall and multifunctional meeting rooms. The roof has a panoramic meeting room shaded with photovoltaic panels and a wide terrace. Basement floors are dedicated to archives, technical rooms, parking lot and a fitness area. 

In an early phase of the planning process, GaS Studio proposed that the public interior spaces could be approached in a very graphic way. Thanks to prefabrication company  Il Cantiere, GaS Studio was familiar with different kinds of concrete treatments. Graphic concrete was already being used in another project, which contributed to choosing it to this project as well.

he Gate’s interior is a combination of graphic concrete and laser-cut metal panels, which adds depth and simultaneously has an obvious continuum. The building has for example floating floors and suspended ceilings, which contribute to a modern interior layout and make it adaptable to the tenants’ needs and requirements. GE’s heritage with electricity production is reflected not only in the chosen pattern itself, but also in the design process, as the imagery has been dug out from GE’s own archives. Since the company has an obvious connection with energy production, choosing the pattern was relatively easy.

” We took in consideration a very large range of possibilities, from geothermic to photovoltaic using GE ’branded’ products. All solutions have been selected based on the ability to increase consciousness that high energy saving targets are a benefit to the building’s performance, containing tenants maintenance costs”, Architect André Straja, founder of GaS Studio explains.

One of the biggest challenges in large refurbishment projects is to optimize the use of a modest budget and combine it with ambitious expectations. ” The building is LEED Platinum * which implies a substantial, out of the ordinary investment in technical equipment, while at the same time we created new rooftop surfaces, a new garden above an existing parking area, new facades and a distinctive and elaborate interior graphic palette”, Straja explains. ” The project is particular because of the innovative and creative solutions that have been utilized to reach and achieve the owner’s goals not only for the design but also for the quality of the interiors”, Straja continues.

The construction project represents one of the most important urban refurbishment projects within the heart of the city of Milan.

*The project features a particular care for sustainability and energy saving topics, since it has already gained the  Leed Platinum certification from the independent Green Building Certification Institute.


Project information
Location: Via Cardano 10, 20100 Milan, Italy
Architect:  GaS Studio
Prefabrication:  Il Cantiere
Constructor:  Colombo costruzioni
Construction year: 2015
Product:  GCArtDesign™Reference on our website
Reference on GaS Studio's website

Photo: GaS Studio

André STRAJA. 
André has lead Goring & Straja’s competition efforts, winning commissions for housing, resort, cultural, and commercial projects with rigorous designs that create compelling visions with clear ideas and dynamic spaces. A member of the Aia and registered as a licensed architect both in Texas and California, André’s experience in both architectural and interior projects spans over 30 years. André holds a B.A., and B. Arch from Rice University. Prior to founding Goring & Straja he worked with Gensler & Associates in Houston and San Francisco, William Turnbull and associates in San Francisco and he was creative director of Studios Architecture (Paris), an international firm with offices in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington, and Paris and Antonio Citterio. André is renowned for his expertise in workplace design, interiors in general and new office building construction. André brings extraordinary drive to our work, and a commitment to meaningful collaboration with our clients.
GaS Studio