Mediaset Headquarters in Milan, Italy, Adds Double-Skin Facade to Protect Original Structure
Award-winning project uses DuPont™ SentryGlas®
Milan, December 2008. Mediaset (Cologno Monzese, Milan), Italy's foremost private media company, has recently carried out an important facelift to its headquarters, setting a new example of architectural innovation and becoming a communication emblem. The dominating element of the design is its impressive ventilated curved façade with a "double-skin" in laminated safety glass using DuPont™ SentryGlas® interlayer. The outcome is a work of art for the most important media company in Italy that features a striking visual impact and also acts as enduring protection for the building.
Buildings of the 1970s, like the Mediaset headquarters, are increasingly being renovated to respond to today's building requirements such as thermal and acoustic insulation and energy efficiency. Structures made with DuPont™ SentryGlas® safety interlayer are leading to a new world of functional, convenient and appealing innovative projects, allowing planners to maintain historical architectural heritage and ensure new generation performance and visual quality.
DuPont™ SentryGlas® safety interlayers played a key role in the making of the 1500-square-meter 'double skin' façade in front of the Mediaset building. This exterior protection is a remarkable construction built by CNS spa (Milan) and designed by the architect Franco De Nigris of Axistudio Milano. For the imposing vertical surface, the structural engineer Paolo Mariottoni together with the CNS Technical Service and Consulting department designed an almost invisible steel structure to be used with new metal fixing devices of extremely reduced dimensions for the glass panels. This innovative system was made in order to have minimal impact on the appearance of the glass façade, and to provide high quality performance and structural resistance.
Paolo La Varra, Senior Architect Technical Service department of CNS spa, explained: "The new system allowed us to confer a modern appearance to the project, with a smooth and monolithic visual impact. In order to achieve this, we required a rather advanced glass application and DuPont™ SentryGlas® fully satisfied these expectations." For the new façade of the Mediaset building, CNS spa was awarded with the Special Prize at the '2008 RE Real Estate Awards', the Italian 'Oscars' for architecture and construction projects of significant proportions.
Paolo Mariottoni, engineer and glass structural design specialist, specified: "With SentryGlas® we were able to turn the project into a reality, with optimum performance and safety characteristics. The structural resistance of SentryGlas® allowed us to reduce the overall weight of the laminated glass panels and to use an almost invisible steel support. Another fundamental issue was that of providing increased safety with continuing protection in case of glass breakage and fallout. SentryGlas® interlayer ensures the integrity of the glass façade thanks to its excellent post-breakage performance and mechanical properties, features that it maintains even at high temperatures."
The laminated glass panels used to create the smooth sail-shaped façade were made in different sizes, the width being 1.1 meters and the height ranging from 2.2 to 3 meters. The panels were produced by Vetrodomus (Brescia, Italy), a specialist in converting flat glass and producing laminated safety glass.
The lower-weight sheets of laminated glass consist of 8-mm tempered glass, 1.52-mm SentryGlas® structural interlayer, and 8-mm screen-printed glass. In comparison, a PVB interlayer would require glass thicknesses of 10mm and 12mm, respectively, to achieve equivalent strength.
The panels, installed with the screen-printed glass on the exterior, create an elegant effect of transparency and privacy. From a distance the façade looks like an opaque reflecting surface, then getting closer, the opacity magically transforms into an ethereal clarity that reveals the protected original construction.
SentryGlas® was created by DuPont to provide a superior solution in the use of glass in architecture and construction. Its superior strength and lasting clarity, even after years of service, are opening up a world of design possibilities for both architects and structural engineers. Valentina Gizzi, market development representative at DuPont Glass Laminating Solutions, explains: "SentryGlas® represents an economically advantageous solution: because of the mechanical properties of the interlayer, it is possible to reduce the weight of the glass and consequently of the supporting structure, as in case of the Mediaset building."
DuPont™ SentryGlas® structural interlayer is widely used worldwide for architectural projects such as balustrades, flooring, canopies, stair treads and pedestrian bridges.
Architect and Building Surveyor: Franco De Nigris - Axistudio Milano
Builder: CNS spa
Project: Franco De Nigris; CNS Technical Service
Supporting metal carpentry: Daniele Cipriani and Gianni Del Pup
Glass components: Paolo Mariottoni