Located in a former Ansaldo complex in Milan‘s Tortona, BASE is a contemporary investigation between the meaning and form of new cultural institutions. Recently completed by Onsitestudio, the project is housed in a former factory, designed to facilitate multiple activities, enabling ultimate flexibility for multiple scenarios. BASE plays host as the ultimate venue for dinners and corporate events, conferences, workshops, fairs, exhibitions, fashion shows, photo shoots and television productions. The building also houses a social bar that’s open to everyone, a large co-working space, and a guest-house for artists in residence. The interior response aims to reduce, remove and clarify rather than add – through delicate and subtle interventions, the response reduces technical and mechanical elements, visual or spatial interferences and barriers, enabling a clearer visual access to the proportion and character of the space. “The goal was to create a ‘theatrical palimpsest’ in which activities, people and their processes can move”, explain the designers.
Various levels of interior spaces are physically connected with with continuous large stairs and ramps. New openings and unexpected glazing insertions allow a synoptic views. The design focuses on the relationship between the huge ex-industrial halls and a limited insertion of items and volumes containing services. Inserted objects are instantly evident due to their different nature, sitting in contrast to the existing white volume, featuring original character, still marked by the traces of previous activities. A limited palette of materials has been used in order to obtain an almost blurred background where installations, micro-architecture, cultural events, but especially people, could stand as characters. Add to the mix a killer collection of eclectic vintage furniture (oh the Milanese just know how to do this bit so, so well!) and you’ve got yourself a monster cool place.