Italian architect Massimiliano Locatelli, usually occupied with designing lavish apartments and retail stores, has taken the historic-building-turned-office-space concept to dramatic new heights. How high? How about 49 feet up in a 16th-century Baroque church, just short of the historic structure's exquisite frescoed ceilings. Indeed, in converting Milan's San Paolo Converso church into the headquarters for his firm CLS Architects, Locatelli went for high contrast: a permeable four-story iron box now stands in the spacious rear section of the church, packing in offices and meeting rooms that are furnished with similarly darkened, orthogonal desks and shelving. Steering clear of altering the original construction in any way, the project also places a library in the altar, a reception area in the front hall, and a larger library and kitchen in the groin-vaulted crypt.
The firm, which first moved in late last year, showed off their new digs at last week's Salone del Mobile, during which Locatelli exhibited a collection of glass tables in front of the high altar (↓). More photos over on L Double J