On Tuesday 2 February the 10 nominees of the first phase of the prestigious 2022 Mies van der Rohe Award (the European architecture competition launched by the “Mies van der Rohe Foundation” and held every two years) were announced. Among these is the “Principe Amedeo 5 Milano” project, by Vittorio Grassi & Partners with the contribution of Lea Ceramiche ceramic surfaces. The Mies van der Rohe Award is a very prestigious competition within the industry, having become in 2001 the official European Union prize for contemporary architecture.
This project undertook the architectural refurbishment of that which was, in 1850, the headquarters of the American Consulate and is now the property of Covivio, the fourth largest real estate company in Europe, listed on Paris’s Euronext and the Italian stock exchange. The restoration and expansion of the interiors honoured the historic nature of the building, giving the spaces ample flexibility and versatility to accommodate 500 workstations, distributed on 5 floors, for a total of 9000 square meters of office space.
It is in this context that Lea Ceramiche, the Italian manufacturer of high-end ceramic surfaces, took part in the project. The company has long been known for its ingenious take on ceramic materials and its distinctive range; tactile products inspired at times by natural materials and at others by the styles of bygone eras, capable of creating a balanced blend of contemporary and traditional solutions. Mauk, of the collection Basaltina Stone Project, chosen for the cladding of the bathrooms in this elegant building, is an unequivocal example of this.
In accordance with the guidelines of the entire project, Mauk specifically meets the demands of style and environmental sustainability. It is a collection made from Lea Ceramiche’s Slimtech porcelain stoneware, fruit of a cutting-edge technology that has transcended the traditional concept of tiles, allowing for ultra-lightweight slabs (with a thickness of 3.5 mm in this case) and oversized formats (up to 3m x 1m). Lightweight and easy to cut and lay, in the case of Mauk the original slab is sectioned into rhombus and trapezoid-shaped modules. When laid, through the repetition of the patterns, the surface takes on a three-dimensional effect which is a nod to the past and recalls the precious details of the antique and intricate hardwood flooring. Mauk lends style and elegance to surfaces, guarantees extreme functionality and durability, and, through the innovative Slimtech technology, contributes to making the “Principe Amedeo 5” even more environmentally friendly.
This focus on sustainability is, in fact, the fil rouge of the entire project. Several recycled or recyclable ecological materials were used, in both the conservative restoration of the structure and in the choice of additional modern elements.
“Principe Amedeo 5”, selected as one of the best projects completed between October 2018 and October 2020, affirms Lea Ceramiche’s ability to meet the stringent demands of such outstanding projects, where every minute detail is carefully studied with a focus on quality, aesthetics, and the environment. These initial nominees, selected by the jury of the Mies van der Rohe Award, will be joined by those from projects completed between November 2020 and April 2021. The winner will be announced in April 2022.