In Milan, to the north of the city itself, in an area undergoing continuous change, close to the Isola quarter and Piazza Gae Aulenti, Milanese architecture firm Galliano & Tagliapietra has curated the renovation of Arbe 49.

Ragno’s new Project Department division, specialised in the design of complex porcelain stoneware facade and floor installations, was an important partner in the project, responsible for creating the external facades, for a total of around 1,400 sq.m. of material, replacing the entire existing cladding with a system of ventilated walls made with stone-effect porcelain stoneware slabs with darker textured inclusions, with the aim of boosting the building’s energy efficiency and soundproofing.

Ragno made the porcelain stoneware slabs to measure in a variety of formats, using wood-effect metal materials for the door and window jambs.

Minimalist geometries and volumes, with a fine balance of gaps and solids, straight lines and pure forms characterise the spaces and outer facades with a rhythmical sequence of windows – an elegant, modern reinterpretation of the compositional structure of the adjacent buildings.

“Style and innovation are the keystones of a renovation project which unites the superlative appearance of porcelain stoneware slabs with the efficiency and engineering of a ventilated wall system, to transform the architecture of a building that fits perfectly into its urban context,” say the designers.

The design of the building is strongly focused on sustainability, efficiency and aesthetic quality. “Interiors of outstanding quality in terms of energy saving as well as design and finishes. Wellbeing was a major consideration for this building, intended to accommodate dynamic businesses and young professionals and enable them to grow in a space tailored to their needs.”

The use of Ragno porcelain stoneware for the facade cladding boosts the energy efficiency and soundproofing of the building, as well as resolving the problems of damp and atmospheric aggression, while guaranteeing outstanding comfort in the interior.

This solution also simplifies the installation, thanks to the C.A.T. 1 Slim concealed mechanical hooking system designed for large-size slabs in the low profile 6 mm thickness. The backs of the slabs are machined with two 45° grooves for anchoring to the metal framework that supports the ceramic surface. Another benefit is the ease of installation and – when needed – replacement of the product.

Galliano & Tagliapietra’s decision to implement the design with materials, technologies and resources that improve the ecological quality and comfort of the interiors has enabled Arbe 49 to obtain LEED® Core&Shell certification.

The building has five floors, the rooms of which have been remodelled as open spaces, offices, meeting rooms and even exclusive areas with direct access to the top floor terrace with its breathtaking view of the city’s new skyline.

The use of Ragno porcelain stoneware in the Arbe 49 project strikes the perfect balance between style and functionality.