Microsoft HQ Romania is paying homage to a historic and symbolic site for the technology and science development in Romania. It takes cues both from the Polytechnic University and from the rich industrial heritage of the area.
We found inspiration in the site history, hence the design is bringing forth elements of industrial heritage, families of shapes, materials and textures that remind the local history but are also capturing the essence of modernity through simple, geometric lines, streamlined, clean finishes and technology.
Central to this vision is the new staircase. Each of the 10 floors of the building has a social hub including a cafeteria and play area. In order to encourage socializing and interaction between the 2000 employees through mobility between levels, the slabs were cut and sculptural stairs were installed to unite vertically the social hubs among floors.
The staircase is a metaphor for the thread and fabric, related to the heritage and the prestigious factory visible across the street, "A.P.A.C.A." (Army Garment Factory). The stairs are our own “Ago, Filo e Nodo” Monument (the monument that celebrates Milan's textile tradition).
The banister recalls a sewing rope and the elastic stainless steel mesh is a transparent metaphor for the fabric. The stair puts together the layers of the building and reinforces the social fabric the same way as the thread and needle puts together layers of textiles. The treads are in monolith cast terrazzo and the mono stringer is in metal, mechanically bonded together. As a part of the same metaphor, the streamlined shape recalls the anatomical spine and vertebrae.
Corvin Cristian Studio, AIM Studio, Plusminus Arhitectura