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Milan’s new US Consulate celebrates Italian design

Government Buildings

Milan’s new US Consulate celebrates Italian design

The project, which recently broke ground, will be completed in 2025.

By Novid Parsi, Contributing Editor | April 11, 2022
OBO aerial
The new Consulate General broke ground April 6 in Milan, Italy.

In Milan, Italy, the new U.S. Consulate General broke ground on April 6. Managed by Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO), a U.S. government agency that directs overseas builds, the 10-acre campus will feature a new Consulate building, as well as the restoration of the site’s historic Liberty Building and reconstruction of a pavilion on the 80,000-square-foot parade ground. Designed by SHoP Architects and constructed by Caddell Construction Company, LLC, the project is scheduled for completion in 2025.

Overall, the design celebrates Italian architecture, using both modern and historic methods and materials. With digitally processed and fabricated stone panels in a warm cream color, the facade will reference the buildings at the historic center and piazzas of Milan and other Italian cities.

Parade Ground
The design implements both modern and historic aspects of Italian architecture.

Inside, a large, double-curved stairwell will serve as the main circulation method leading from the reception area to the gallery above, a triple-height space with panoramic site views. Consular booths, lined in sound-absorbing velvet panels with Italian green marble wainscotting, will create a sense of security and privacy.

Milan US Consulate building will feature advanced green technologies

The project will require almost zero heating energy from hydrocarbon fuels. A ground-source system will provide the heating and cooling services, with processed water stored for site irrigation or reinjected to the ground water aquifer. This geothermal system will be “open loop,” common practice in Milan but a first for the OBO.

Building Entrance
Historical aspects are featured in the design of OBO.

Solar and ground-sourced heat—geothermal energy coupled with photovoltaic panel arrays—will combine with a variety of water and energy conservation methods to save 43% of annual energy costs. The efficient building envelope (with a window-to-wall ratio of 25%) will prevent heat gain while allowing in daylight.

Owner-developer: Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO)

Design architect and architect of record: SHoP Architects 

MEP engineer: Mason & Hanger

Structural engineer: Thornton Tomasetti

General contractor/construction manager: Caddell Construction Company, LLC

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