SYSTEMS IN SUPPORT OF INTEGRATED DESIGN

Performance and project management also safeguarding the aesthetics of buildings

With the goal of working on increasingly integrated projects, Starching has expanded its competencies and services to include plants, which have become key players in an industry where efficiency and performance are quality benchmarks. Since 2024, the company has established a dedicated production line for both design and project management of plants.

In recent years, especially in Rome, Starching has overseen numerous plant projects for various types of buildings (offices, shopping centers, residences, and hotels). The objective for the next three years is to bring the design and project management of systems in-house, even for projects managed by the Milan offices. To achieve this, training new talent will be crucial.

The trend is to give less space and visibility to plants, making it crucial to design infrastructure that ensures the proper functioning of buildings. Like the internal organs of a human body, they must work well but remain unseen. In our vision, architecture should not serve the plants; instead, the challenge is to create custom designs that respect the building’s DNA. This involves customizing plants both technically and aesthetically, as the beauty of buildings, both inside and out, must be preserved at all costs. Moreover, plants need to be functional and up-to-date in every aspect, including the latest technologies.

An example is the Six Senses in Rome, a historic building dating back to the 1400s that has undergone numerous transformations over the years, having even served as the headquarters of the Banca di Roma before becoming a hotel. These changes influenced the design, particularly in identifying potential spaces for plant allocation, which were distributed across different floors. For instance, on the -1 level, which now houses the hotel’s spa, there is a technical tunnel that separated the building’s outer limit from the former bank’s vault. This space has been utilized as an air extraction duct for the spa, providing essential service for the proper functioning of the area and eliminating excess humidity due to its underground location. It is a perfect example of the synthesis between efficiency, innovation, and functionality.

In the individual rooms, the air supply and return vents have been positioned to be hidden within the furnishings, thanks to a frame that almost entirely covers them. This setup maintains full efficiency in airflow while ensuring the overall aesthetic quality.

In systems design, it’s crucial to always consider the proper functioning of structures, including planning for subsequent maintenance phases, which are essential for a building’s success. In the case of Casa Monti hotel, Via Panisperna in Rome, there was a significant technological challenge due to limitations imposed by the Superintendence, which prohibited the placement of machinery outside, as done with the Six Senses. Therefore, the decision was made to place the machinery inside the structure itself, on the top floor under the roof. This created ventilation both on the facade, disguising it, and among the roof tiles, thanks to tanks and heat dispersers that increased the machines’ dissipation capacity. We studied a solution aimed at minimizing energy waste.

For Starching, dialogue with the client remains crucial, translating into the ability to provide the right information to guide them toward delivering the project in its optimal solution. It’s important to convey that the beauty of a property cannot be the sole end since buildings must function without causing discomfort in terms of climate or lighting, compromising their everyday use. To provide optimal service, Starching’s goal is to include design beyond project management in its activities, thus preventing potential issues and identifying project challenges in advance.

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