King & Roselli Architetti: Sheraton Malpensa

King & Roselli Architetti was commissioned to design the exteriors of this large hotel in front of Malpensa International Airport as a result of winning competition entry for the overall design of the building. Despite its size (420m long, 64m wide, 21m high) the building was conceived as a design object. Partly because Milan is Italy's design capital, and partly because King & Roselli were interested in investigating the technical and architectural properties of a skin or membrane to be perceived dynamically as façade not only on its four sides but also the roof, visible from the access road to the airport complex. On the open side these blocks of rooms articulate the façade in an irregular sequence of solids and voids. The solids in turn are articulated by a series of thick sculptural PVC blacked-out curtains which give both depth and dynamism to the overall elevation. The folded shell alternates with the transparent glass of the enclosed volumes in which the reflective curtains mirror the external lighting conditions to produce a building that is constantly changing aspects. Though normally considered an item of interior design, the blacked-out PVC curtains were seen as an integral part of the façade from an early stage. The regularity on the mullion and transom grid is syncopated by the irregularity of the curtains seen through the extra-clear glass.

Link: www.kingroselli.com