Designing an Office Space in a Palace

Italy is home to numerous palazzos, or palaces, once inhabited by nobility. Today, many of these grand estates have been repurposed into prime office real estate. But how does one transform a space built in the 16th century, replete with architectural constraints and historical preservation requirements, to suit 21st-century needs?  Such was the challenge faced by Simone Ierardi, the lead architect and one of the founders of CIRCOLO-A, the design firm commissioned with renovating a space on the third floor of Palazzo Giulio Pallavicini in Genoa, Italy. The client, Switzerland-based Ecom, a global leader in green coffee trading, was expanding its customer service presence in Genoa. For its new space, the company sought a productive yet comfortable environment with home-like elements to stimulate creativity and camaraderie.   The resulting spatial construction and interior design by CIRCOLO-A for Ecom avoids any sentimental nods to the palace’s Baroque heritage. Instead, it embraces a …