MERRILL LYNCH INTERNATIONAL BANK

TYPOLOGY : Architecture, Interior Design

CLIENT : Merrill Lynch International Bank

PLACE : Largo Fontanella di Borghese, Rome, Italy

DATE : 2001

"The Delogu Architetti Associati studio developed the project for the offices of the Merril Lynch International Bank located in a really original setting: a Baroque environment with a strong historical and artistic character. We refer to Palazzo Borghese in Rome, one of the precious masterpieces built in the 17th century.
The Bank is located in three large frescoed rooms on the groud floors that welcome now therefore new offices and meeting rooms. The new structures integrate in the pre-existing setting respecting its main features. For this reason the architects chose a completely independet system that doesn't damage the building's Baroque walls. On the contrary, it enhances its beauty. Elements nearly graze but they are structurally detached. Even the pre-existing openings, flooring and obviously frescoes have been preserved.
The three large rooms feature a structure in burnished steel, glass and maple wood with false ceiling to exploit the whole-height environment. In this way the new project enriches the historical building, offers new ways of experiencing it and meets the client's demands for close and private offices and larger and open rooms. Visitors can therefore admire the marvellous frescoes on the ceiling from nearer distance, though they also have the general overview of the whole original environment. The new materials match with the original one without interfering. It is a simple architecture, based on volumes and levels that materialize using different materials. The new volume within the historical setting is clearly visible; maple wood walls, partitions elements and furniture as well as the transparent windows enhance the interior brightness due to the natural light that enters trought the large windows.
The banisters of staircases and false ceilings come in perforated laminate, a material designers love very much. It is a modern, elegant and semi-transparent material that doesn't 'close' but lets light filter throught it. The main walls come in burnished iron and thanks to this peculiar shade they look essential, geometric and elegant." Cristina Molteni

CREDITS : V. Caramagno, H. Andreeva, C. Behr, M.C. Bellezza, K. Hundermark
PUBLICATION: OFX International Magazine of Office Design and Architecture n. 88/2006, "Under the frescoes of Palazzo Borghese"
PHOTOGRAPHER: Luigi Filetici