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BNL/BNP Paribas: two buildings, two cities, a single space management approach.

Much has been said about the two BNL/BNP Paribas headquarters, approximately 5500 workstations in total, two iconic buildings, representing a transformational vision, an architecture focused on sustainability and urban renovation.
Nevertheless, it is interesting to look in more detail also the change that occurred BNL organizational culture that, contrary to what usually happens, started from space management.
Space management was the driver of change management, as architect Paolo Mantero, who designed both the headquarters, explain us.

It was a complex project, that has resulted in organizational and layout options not provided for in the initial briefing, but also in an actual cultural transformation.
“Prior to launching calls for bids and starting the actual space planning and interior design projects, BNL entrusted DEGW with a preliminary analysis of the use of space. This survey supplied some important parameters: the data indicated that about 50 % of workstations were unused throughout the day”.
The most obvious change in space planning was the switch from the ordinary office to open-plan offices, which in a second step led to the switch from an assigned station to a shared one.

Before starting the interior design, we set up a sampling 2000 sqm area furnished with different workstations, that have been tested by several departments in rotation for two years. At the end of this testing, BNL chose to assign a 10% to desk sharing and to adopt an activity-based approach.

Four Work-setting typologies.

Four types were identified by function, each one implemented in different configurations:
individual workplaces;
team workplaces;
service areas;
relax and interaction ares.
“Third-Space” were also added inspired by in-between concept.


BNL Roma Tiburtina: interior design.

The iconic and de-costructivist building (75.000 mq) can host 4000 people; it was designed by 5+1 AA (Alfonso Femia, Gianluca Peluffo e Simonetta Cenci, ora separati) and built by Bnp Paribas Real Estate. With its glass mirror facades and cutting edge shapes, it is the focus of the urban transformation around Tiburtina Station in Rome. Beyond hedonism, it is a communication tool that expresses the value  of Culture.
Sustainability was one of the goal of the building: it is LEED gold both in “Shell & Core” and  “Commercial Interiors” categories.

The entrance hall.
A sculptural reception (customized made by Mascagni) is the focus of the huge space that, wide galleries with wooden covered walls bring to the auditorium and the bank branche conceived on the idea of “diffused agency” (concept by Crea International – Il Prisma Group).

The open plan offices.

The comfort and the wellbeing of the employees is the goal of the light open plan offices: a special study was devoted to lighting and acoustics and also to the perceptive comfort made by an elegant mix of different materials, colours and textures.

It’s a diverse and lively landscape rejecting the flat orthogonality of the ordinary open space.
The fluidity was made possible by the asymmetric storage units and round top desks (both customized by Estel Group) used also as partitions in the different areas. Meeting rooms of varying sizes are defined by partition walls (All In One by Mascagni) made of glass, sound proofing panels and writable board.

A thorough lighting  study has produced new lighting fittings (by Artemide) with a fine and aerial design giving out direct and indirect light and provided with a task light device that switches off automatically through a motion light.
The remarkable energy saving and high comfort parameters enabled the company to gain 5 points for the Leed Gold certification.



Diamond Tower in Milan: interior design.

The photogenic Diamond Tower, at the strategic position of east area of Porta Nuova, is one of the most successful examples of urban redevelopment.
Designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox and built by Hines, the building measures 30,000 square meters and 140 meters high; any of the 27 floors give a spectacular view.
Studio Mantero worked for the space planning as well the interior design, transferring and adapting the space concepts, the work-settings and the design solutions successfully adopted in Rome.

Also in Milan the headquarters includes an innovative bank branche.
The Restaurant at the 15th floor overlooks the skyline of the “growing Milan” and can provide up to 2000 meals a day. Beyond the corporate restaurant, there is a cafeteria and third places that combine relaxation areas and informal meetings with the food and bar services.

The last prestigious plan, the 27th, is dedicated to Rest House and Client Area functions.
The interior design, in Milan as in Rome, is focuses on the use of renewable and eco-compatible resources and materials. The sober and rational design that identifies the BNL brand does not give up on courageous and lively color and material combinations.

Text by Renata Sias
Photo interiors by Beppe Raso




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