ArchiTALKS - GPBA Architects - ISPLORA

Trailer Man, form and function

Not eligible for AIA CES Credits

Transparency, permeability, flexibility, openness, human beings. These are the leitmotifs of GBPA Architects, an integrated company that makes architecture a synthesis of form, function and technology where people become the center of gravity of a new "humanism of design".

The result of a careful glance at the changes of time and society, GBPA Architects with architect Antonio Gioli and architect Federica De Leva, is a synonym for integration, where the architectural discipline holds within it all the mechanisms of design, from structural and plant engineering to interior design through a multidisciplinary and transversal methodological approach.

The lesson, in fact, explores integrated design through different case studies that exemplify its approach and method, tools and objectives. In this sense, the importance of a responsible design stands out, respectful of the city and of social, economic and environmental needs, making it necessary to observe places and pay attention to sustainability through a reduced use of resources and by obtaining high energy performance certifications.

The project, therefore, opens up to the place, dialoguing with the city and its transformations, intercepting the social and cultural responsibility of creating architecture, between past, present and future.

An example is the reconversion carried out for the new Amazon HQ in Milan, where the project adapts to the needs of an increasingly fast and dynamic society to re-give life and shape to an existing architecture: the regeneration of the former Tecnimont headquarters, an iconic building in the Milanese context for which the design group reinterpreted not only the transparent facade system, but also and above all the theme of accessibility through the creation of a new square for collective use.

Thus, urban space enters the interior of the building, reconfiguring the balance and dimensions of permeability and collective space, dialoguing with the place and reopening spaces to the city. This is the case of the regeneration of the Palazzo di Fuoco, created in the early 60's by architects Giulio Minoletti and Giuseppe Chiodi as a symbol of a “transparent box in symbiosis with the city”. Thus, GBPA Architects aimed to restore this link between architecture-city-man, working on the built heritage, rethinking the street side through a new performing facade and redefining space through the creation of a new internal courtyard, a new collective space for relationships.

Relationships that become the basis of the project, a humanistic process that aims a having people at the center of the design synthesis. Thus, the well-being of the individual becomes the driving force to shape space, from retrofitting to the restoration of the existing heritage as in the Pola 9/11 project in Milan, up to the responsible design of workplaces, to reinterpret traditional forms in more informal, open and collective spaces. Places for appropriation and sharing. Places for human beings, on a human scale.

A humanistic approach to design.

Learning objectives

  • Through various case studies by GBPA Architects, the lesson explores the integrated project, highlighting the synergistic qualities of a multidisciplinary and transversal approach in favor of a responsible, sustainable project capable of being coherently integrated within its urban and territorial context;
  • Current issues such as the complexity of the regeneration of architecture and the urban environment will be explored and analyzed, starting from the conversion of the existing heritage to new constructions, illustrating different case studies suitable to exemplify possible design solutions and strategies;
  • The projects and technological solutions, innovations and experiments illustrated in the lesson will clarify a modus operandi for an architecture attentive to its impact on the territory, from the environmental and energy aspect (through certifications and protocols) to the economic and social one, highlighting the phases of the integrated project, the tools, skills and objectives to achieve; 
  • The lesson will delve into the theme of the project on a human scale, between comfort and psychophysical well-being, through different case studies that exemplify the design approach, performance and standards to be achieved for a responsible project capable of bringing innovation in the design of spaces for work and for the city.


Create an account

('Are you an Italian architect? Switch to this site (')

Sign up

Are you an Italian architect?
Switch to this site to earn credits approved by the National Council of Architects (CNAPPC).

Create an account