An industrial restoration has resulted in the newly refreshed home of eyewear market leader Luxottica in Italy. The project, the brand’s Digital Factory, was designed by Milan-based architecture studio Park Associati, and effortlessly blends minimalist architecture, swathes of glass, and 21st-century manufacturing and workspace. 

The building is located in the city’s trendy via Tortona area, and used to be occupied by General Electric. When Luxottica decided to move in, the company reached out to the architects for a redesign, bringing the complex to contemporary standards but at the same time, maintaining its feeling of history and utility, and sense of space and light throughout. Park Associati kept the original volumes and configuration, focusing on sharpening existing shapes and lines, while upgrading facilities and sustainability elements.  

side facade of Luxottica factory by park associati

Indeed, an eco approach towards sustainable architecture was key in the spatial reinvention, and the team followed a LEED quality and sustainability protocol – aiming for a Gold certification. A strong connection to open-air areas with gardens (such as the ground floor’s green patios), as well as planting inside, also ensures there’s a strong presence of nature throughout. 

Transparency played a key role in the redesign – both in physical terms (the building is an ode to glazed expanses, connecting vistas inside and out, and bathing the interior with light from almost all directions), as well as symbolically, in particular with the ground level’s public aspect. Luxottica’s showroom and further commercial spaces are located here, while the Digital Lab – a high-tech innovation centre – is situated on the first floor.

Apart from creating a sophisticated, modern workspace for Luxottica, with interiors composed in collaboration with Storagemilano, the Digital Factory also helps activate its wider neighbourhood, bringing a green element and considered retail to this corner of Milan, adding to its vibrant suburban environment. §


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