Smart design for Arcadis offices in Milan.

Implement the smart working approach and create more synergy in the working team through a smart design: that was the brief given to D2U to design the Arcadis offices in Milan. Furniture, materials and colours were chosen to improve an ergonomic approach, sound absorption and to create a comfortable and, at the same time, flexible environment.

The 1.500 sqm workplace chosen by Arcadis to join all the company’s offices in the same place, as the Managing Director Roberto Talotta says, represented the opportunity to “create more and more synergy within the working team and to efficiently implement group guidelines on smart working approach”. The architect Jacopo della Fontana has led the D2U architect team along with the Arcadis Project Manager Alberto Spacone.


The project has been conceived with two big naves, accessible by both the two floors, connected by open stairs and separated in the centre with a mezzanine. The offices are divided into activity areas, separated by big conference tables and individual and private workstations, allowing, however, the required flexibility to embrace the possible company’s future needs and changes.


These space, along with the reception area and the internal coffee bar, contributes to create a good balance of individual, teamworking and private spaces, in order to allow the workers to find the perfect setting for each daily need.


As Jacopo della Fontana says, “working alongside with the client has allowed us to implement the brief with a creative approach, respecting schedules and costs constraints”, focusing on materials, colors and furniture, in order to create a communicative environment, where all the material, sound absorption and ergonomic parameters are thoroughly respected.
The furniture is most of all designed by the Dutch company Ahrend, with the adding of some other pieces as the moquette Interface.
Text by Gabriele Masi.





Quiet, please! We work here.

This furniture typology has no name yet: pod? box? booth? acoustic room? Call it what you may. It’s designed to define oases of privacy featuring levels of sound absorption that vary according to need. WOW has selected a few of the most effective systems.

A versatile system coming in several sizes and flexible when fitting, featuring high-performance acoustics, agility in in-use times, expanding over time and designed for the application of ICT technologies: that’s what “personal bubbles” require, a territory which man uses both to leave out his own kind and establish relationships (do you remember the “personal bubble” of Edward T. Hall?)
A dual identity of “shelter” to cut oneself off and not disturb the others, but also of “lodge” suitable for teamwork.
They are free-standing, pre-fab, modular systems to ensure a quick fitting and custom-made solutions. The walls don’t reach the ceiling of the building so a covering is required, however allowing the air-conditioning circulation. The sound insulation is a must.
There are boxy shapes available commercially, but the most advanced systems also provide for curved, blind or glass modules, lending these interior design units the look of a small “Pod” just landed in an open space and already waiting for takeoff.

Estel: Collaborative Room.
They are modular cells available in three different range of dimensions, all highly customizable by structure and finishes. Small (able to accomodate up to 2 people); Medium (suitable for meeting and focus group up to 4 people); Large (a real meeting area able to host up to 8 people). They are built with an aluminium structure, customizable with glass sheet or wooden panels covered up with sound absorbing foam. Entrance module with hinged or sliding door or without a door and a wide range of optional floor finishes. Top feature of this product are the high level of acoustic isolation, efficient air-conditioning and the possibility to customize the electrical system.


Fantoni: Acoustic Room.
It can be equipped with sound absorbing panels, glazed walls and flooring. Two modules in different sizes (254 x 254 x h254 cm – 254 x 134 x h 254 cm) allow you to create acoustically protected islands. The module is made of 4akustik sound absorbing panels.


Universal Selecta: Chakra – The Inner Sound.
Design R&D US with AMA-Albera Monti and Ezio Rendina.
An architectural, prefabricated, modular partition system covered by 5 patents; it is freestanding and requires no anchors on the ceiling nor on the floor. It ensures ideal conditions of customized acoustic comfort and tailor made conditioning air system in any kind of collective environment. From phone booth to large meeting rooms for 12 people. The patented assembly system ensures flexibility, simplicity and speed in the assembly.


Citterio: Sound System.
Design Franco Mirenzi andVittorio Parigi
CSS is a family of cubicles made of aluminium, glass and wood fibre panels that ranges from phone-booths to medium-sized meeting rooms. Each cubicle is finished with highly-soundproofing patented finishings, flat or pyramid-shaped.


Faram: Bubble.
A design oriented space that accomodates an individual and his/her needs. The curvy shapes ease the positioning inside environments. Everything can be customised, upon customer’s request: finishings, chair, top, electrical function, lights, air conditioning, phone and PC charger. The Bubble Meet version accommodates 4 people.


Orangebox: Air3.
Launched in 2014 and award winning, it is one of the most advanced room system: Interchangeable panels allow you to swap, change and refresh your colours and fabrics anytime. The patented opening room system featuring an advanced fire safety system, it is demountable and therefore can be moved, re-positioned and fully re-used.
There are 17 standard Air3 pods providing a variety of curved, square, small and large private meeting rooms.



The most innovative privacy elements.

After the collapse of the “office walls”, the noise and lack of privacy are the main enemies in the workplace. Several solutions of noise protection and privacy elements to survive in open plan were launched at Orgatec 2016. They can define private areas with different levels of acoustic and visual privacy to offer personalized answers to different needs: free standing screens with high acoustic performance, articulated “nest” systems that integrate chairs and workstations, or partition walls. The most advanced technology ones are designed as a kit and easy to install thanks to innovative interlocking systems.

Mascagni, TrèS Sound, by Ergon Design.
An innovative sound absorption panel system based upon the principle of the Helmholtz multiple resonator, in combination with the acoustic absorption achieved by means of porous materials, since the panels contain polyester fibers. Both sides of the panel are covered in micro-perforated wood laminate. The linear panels can be also hung at wall or ceiling.


Universal Selecta, Chakra, design by Universal Selecta R& D .
Chakra is a patented modular system of solid and glazed panels, straight or curved, able to create reserved areas ranging from the simple phone boot up to a more performing and dimensionally extended meeting areas.


Sedus, se-wall.
A combination of acoustics, design and functionality with an attractive price-performance ratio. It provides privacy, zoning and an acoustic screen while ensuring maximum functionality and flexibility with a wide range of products and numerous customized configurations.


Teknion, Zones, design by PearsonLloyd.
The collection included semi-private enclosures which can be used as either intimate collaborative settings or a place of retreat for privacy. In addition seating, tables, screens, easels and lighting are available.


Okamura, Muffle.
Modular acoustic screen system for linear and curved settings, it can house sofas, meeting tables and desks.


Nowy Styl, Tepee-Work.
Panel system to set temporary workplaces, to connect or divide working people; it is equipped with sit-stand desks and sofas; it is a modular solution that complements office interiors characterised by a division into functional zones.


Free standing or desk panels characterized by a fresh and informal look between cushions and screen.


Offect, Soundwave Wall, design by Christophe Pillet.
An acoustic wall stretches from floor to ceiling and thus becomes a part of the architecture in a building, like a prefabricated partition wall. It is designed to absorb in the upper frequency of 250 Hz and above.


Citterio Wood_Wall.
The craftmanship is just an inspiration, which handed down attention to the materials and their specificity.


Vetroin, In-Wall.
The first wall which doesn’t use glue but only patented interlocking system. In aesthetic terms the external flush mounting, without profiles that contain the glass overlapping it, makes it possible to keep the glass surface completely in view. It is also at the forefront in terms of security and earthquake prevention.



Balancing privacy and open space: Casio Offices (D2U).

Privacy is one of the main concerns of an open space working environment. That’s why D2U – project manager arch. Corrado Caruso– has included an informal office in the redevelopment of the Casio Italia’s headquarters in Milan: an in-between area equipped with special furniture for private calls or network surfing or for arranging comfortable informal meetings, protected by soundproof elements.

The redevelopment of the Casio offices in Milan had to deal with the reception desk on the ground floor and a narrow and long space (8 x 90m) with a single exposure. Re-arranging the layout, Design to Users (2DU) moved the work areas in an open space located on the southern façade in order to get maximum natural light, keeping three separate closed offices for the management, and building a dedicated space for the privacy need of the workers: the informal office.
This is a non working area where employees can go for private calls or network surfing by standing in touchdown areas or sitting on wooden stools, or  organising informal meetings with colleagues or customers, by sitting in comfortable sofas protected by acoustic panels.

The brand identity of the space is given by the use of the corporate colour Casio electric blue, that create a pattern throughout all the environments over the “tone on tone” grey and white combinations of the structures and walls, the beige PVC floor and the dove-grey work surfaces of the working furniture.
Smart features of the project are a flexible and reconfigurable space, the use of natural, recyclable and sustainable fit-out components and materials and the break area/kitchenette conceived as a central area for staff relationships.
A careful acoustic control of the environment is given by the sound absorbing panels Snowsound Caimi Brevetti’s Snowsound (Mitesco, designed by Michele De Lucchi), storage elements located between the individual work areas, along with the Gyptone acoustic ceilings.
Text by Gabriele Masi.



Soundproofing, air cleaning, humidity regulation.

Acoustic Mood Wall by Sedus is a wall design element suitable for professional sound absorption, especially in rooms with hard surfaces. It improves acoustics and simultaneously helps to keep the air clean and regulate humidity. Thanks to the use of renewable and natural materials in the product –hemp and wool– the “acoustic mood wall” is a 100% sustainable product.

Acoustic Mood Wall consists of a folding wooden cassette-like holder with an embedded layer of hemp and wool and is covered in fabric. While the hemp layer in the core is acoustically effective, the layer of wool is negatively ionised and therefore does not attract fine particulates; for this reason helps to clean the air and regulate humidity besides having sound-dampening qualities.

It can be used in open space offices, meeting and conference rooms, reception areas, corridors and waiting zones, cafeterias and company canteens.
It is available in different square and rectangular formats (600 x 600/1200/1800/2400 mm and 1200 x 1200 mm) and two thicknesses (55 and 95 mm), it can be attached to a wall horizontally or vertically or can simply be suspended from the ceiling. Up to three colours from a set range of colours can be selected for each element.



Wooden and melamine sound proofing panels.

TrèSSpine Screen and Sound versions- is a new, versatile furnishing system by Mascagni. Its modular panels, in steel, melamine and wood, are specifically designed to ensure rapid reconfiguration and  its sound absorbing panels, in laminate, wood and fabric, contain the most advances technologies to ensure the best in acoustic comfort and finishings.

TrèS is the system created by Mascagni and Ergon Design that combines accessorized modular panels and transparent or sound-insulating screens of different heights and widths, with optional integrated cabling.

TrèS System includes TrèSound, a sound absorption innovative panel (in wood or high pressure laminate) based upon the principle of the Helmholtz multiple resonator, in combination with the acoustic absorption achieved by means of porous materials, since the panels contain polyester fibers. The product was developed closely with a team of companies, starting from aesthetic demands and production requirements linked to its manufacture and then perfecting the dimensions of the external layer of the panels to improve their acoustic absorption. For this reason they decided that the holes in the panels were to be of a specific size and specific distribution, and specified the density of the internal fibrous material, to obtain the best possible acoustic performance for a free-standing panel which was tested in the reverberation chamber with excellent results.



Translucent, sound proofing and fire retardant curtains.

Can translucent curtains absorb noise? Yes if they are made by Vescom curtain fabrics that absorb sound five times more than customary translucent curtain, improving the room’s acoustics. They are available in three typologies of fabric; all them are translucent, fire safe, durable, lightweight and strong. 

Thin, transparent curtain fabrics often possess minimal acoustic properties. When natural light was needed together with an improvement in the acoustic performances, Vescom produced three models of acoustic curtain fabrics designed by Annette Douglas: Carmen, Marmara and Formoza.


Although they are translucent and extremely lightweight they nevertheless offer a sound absorption coefficient, alphaw, of between 0.5 and 0.6. The use of these curtain fabrics reduces echoes, absorbs sound and improves understandability in project surroundings such as office areas, conference rooms, restaurants, hotel lobbies and multifunctional halls. The fabrics, woven from Trevira CS yarns, are fire retardant and comply with the most stringent European standard for public areas (B1 according to DIN 4102).

wow-webmagazine-Vescom-curtain-acoustic- Formoza


A vegetal soundproofing and fire resistant ceiling.

The Milan based studio Principioattivo Architecture Group adopted a very original solution to improve acoustic comfort inside a shopping center and at the same time bring indoors all the benefits of nature: an acoustic ceiling made of lichen MOSSwall.

This natural stabilized lichen, easy to place, does not require natural lighting, nor maintenance or watering. It is a real “miracle of nature” that makes possible to produce plant surfaces in any typology of public space.

It is certified for fire (for EU: UNI EN 13501-1: 2009 Class B-s2, d0 and for USA: ASTM E 84 nr: 2015 CLASS: 0-25 FSI; 0-450 SDI) and has interesting acoustic performances (it is certified by the UNI EN ISO 11654: 1998 and UNI EN ISO 354:2003, guaranteeing a class of sound absorption of 50% for speech frequency).
This indoor 130 sqm installation, realized by Verde Profilo is made by around 800 circles with diameters from 60 to 30 cm, covered with MOSS wasaby green and mint colours.


02-Caimi Brevetti-Identità Expo-wow-webmagazine

The sound quality by Caimi Brevetti is also at EXPO.

Snowsound arrives at Expo 2015: the soundproof panels Flap by Alberto and Francesco Meda and Pli by Marc Sadler were chosen for the project of the restaurant “Identità Expo”. The aesthetic needs meet the high technological performances.

Another praise for Snowsound, the Caimi Brevetti‘s patented soundproof panels system able to combine high efficiency performace, functionality and design, allowing an easy acoustic correction in a simple way, both in new environments and in already existing ones.
Identità Expo is the new temporary restaurant of excellence, not only because of the food, but also for the project itself. The new space was realized, thanks to the collaboration of different important companies, like Caimi Brevetti, with a peculiar flexibility, which allows its configuration to be easily change into a business lounge, a space for events or meetings, a conference room, or simply a restaurant where you can experience  the finest cooking and meet great chefs.
Identità Expo represents an important Expo 2015’s event including a great schedule of lessons, conferences, show cookings which will take place every day and will host 200 chefs, and more than 450 events about food culture, in 184 days dedicated to good taste, innovation and design.
Caimi Brevetti was established in 1949 and today is a well-known italian company, design oriented and based on the wide 65 years technological experience, with hundreds of patented products, attesting the importance given by the firm to inventiveness and originality, always in respect of the environment: the same key concepts of Expo 2015.
Text by Gabriele Masi.

01-Caimi Brevetti-Identità Expo-wow-webmagazine


USM Privacy Panels: moments of a modular privacy.

At this year’s Salone del Mobile in Milan, USM introduced their new products USM Privacy Panels. Based on the the USM Modular Furniture Haller’s distinctive modular matrix, USM Privacy Panels are a flexible, space-saving solution for structuring workplaces and defining working areas, creating privacy and optimising indoor acoustics.

The staging by atelier oï at Salone Ufficio showed the great adaptability of these panels in the working environment, where they are traditionally used as organisational elements within an “open space” office structure, but also in living and contract environment.
USM Privacy Panels are thought to protect the private spheres allowing the discreet view from outside to inside and the open view from inside to outside .

The panels come in two versions: freestanding room dividers or table-top versions. Both forms are practical, fully configurable and can be altered and extended any time as required.
The structure is composed by two half-panels of compacted polyester fleece fold onto the basic frame, a matrix of metal tubes, creating elements whose tubular structures can be slotted together as desired and hence are easily stabilised.
USM Haller joined also the Milano Design Week with the interesting Rethink the Modular.
Text by Gabriele Masi.



A flexible panel system, multiple functions.

Multy, design by Gabriele and Oscar Buratti for Tecno, is a partition wall system for dividing and structuring spaces, for creating visual and acoustic privacy in workplaces. It was launched at Orgatec.

The system comprises a single element, a panel, which can be configured, combined with others and equipped using a simple, intuitive system.The panel, consisting of two external shells in polyester fibre produced with hot press moulding technology, is equipped with an integrated perimetral structure in anodized aluminium housing snap-fit connections that allow the system to be equipped with work surfaces of different shapes and sizes, as well as shelves and accessories.
The Multy system features a vertical ball joint that allows the panel to flex, creating different geometric solutions: 180° linear, 120° corner and 90° perpendicular configurations. Integrated snap-fit joints enable modular combinations of two, three or four panels; the desired solution can be chosen at the moment of assembly and later modified as and when required offering maximum flexibility.
Multy has been tested with regards to sound absorption using the random incidence method in a reverberant room as provided for by ISO 354, obtaining “sound absorption class A” in compliance with UNI EN ISO 11654. It has also been tested with regards to sound insulation using the two room method (reverberant and semi-anechoic) as provided for by ISO 3741 and ISO 3745, obtaining a noise reduction of 20 dB in compliance with UNI EN ISO 717.