The project involves the renovation of the ex-Student House of Lugano, built in 1967 by the architects Marazzi, Lucchini and Pedrotti and re-designed as an Administrative Office Building for the Canton of Ticino, preserving the essential characteristics that distinguish the original architecture of irrefutable quality.
A complete refurbishment was necessary to meet both the functional needs of the client and the present-day energy, technical and safety standards. The extreme conceptual and structural clarity of the original modular building facilitated the simple reinterpretation by the architects Durisch + Nolli.
The primary objective of the intervention was the preservation of the concrete structure and essential architectural substance that give the original building its characteristic expression with exposed concrete facade and strip windows modulated by distinctive sunshade elements.
Internally, the structure has been dry-lined, guaranteeing the structural safety of the building in case of fire. This is achieved by adding fire-retardant material inside the walls and the slabs. These tubular “alveoli”, inserted inside the existing structure, have openings which correspond with the corridors, façades, frames and other dividing elements in order to accommodate the required spaces in a manner consistent with the structural fabric of the building.
The integral modularity remains visible throughout all the spaces thanks to the structural partitions and, on the ground floor, concrete beams.
The refurbishment has also made it possible to improve the building from an energy and ecological sustainability point of view, obtaining the Minergie® label.