Innovative façade of ‘I Portali’ takes shape in Milan

The new solar-powered office building, I Portali, is fast approaching completion with the recent installation of the façade that integrates a highly innovative system of photovoltaic panels. Located in Milan’s Porta Nuova district, the world’s first urban area to achieve LEED and WELL certifications for its focus on people’s well-being, the new offices at via Gioia 20 respond to the contemporary needs of office building users. The offices achieve the highest standards of energy efficiency for the sustainable operation of the offices: water and energy consumption are reduced by 60% with innovative building management systems.

The design features a façade system with alternating opaque modules forming a grid pattern that wraps around the entire complex, and opens the offices to natural light. The façade’s photovoltaic panels and vertical structural elements join seamlessly, increasing the performance of the building envelope and acting as a visual filter between the interior and exterior spaces. The façade modules along the bearing columns’ height comprise thermal-break aluminum frames insulated with mineral wool. The photovoltaic cells are integrated into the interlayer and are structurally sealed to the aluminum frame. More than 2,000 solar panels, integrating about 235,000 photovoltaic cells, will produce sustainable energy with an annual yield of 850,000 KWh. The grid is a synthesis between structure and façade and defines the very identity of the architectural project.