Refurbishment of the Vetra Building in Milan

Between design and sustainability, the new life of an office complex

Built in the 1960s in the heart of Milan, the Vetra Building is a two-part building covering a total of 27,000 m2. At the request of Axa Investment Managers, Artelia managed its complete redevelopment (façade and interior), mobilising its sustainable building specialists to achieve the highest level of LEED certification (Platinum).

To achieve this, the best functional strategies were deployed (water saving, energy efficiency, indoor air quality, use of eco-materials, etc.).


Located in the centre of Milan, this complex of two buildings, renamed the Vetra Building, was built in the 1960s and refurbished in the 1990s. The architects and designers of the refurbishment project (Il Prisma) adopted a highly contemporary approach, highlighting the building’s original lines, reopening it to the city and bringing it into line with contemporary expectations in terms of organisation, comfort and environmental performance. The new layout has been designed to be flexible enough to accommodate different types of tenant. An extension was built on the roof to free up space on the ground floor for retail outlets, while at the same time restoring a connecting gallery between the two districts.

A major effort was made to improve the building’s energy efficiency and environmental quality. Artelia Italia mobilised its experts in sustainable building and implemented the best functional strategies to obtain a very high level of environmental certification. The energy systems were completely redesigned and the building was equipped with a geothermal system. All materials containing asbestos and artificial glass fibres were recovered. Various strategies were applied to save water, improve energy efficiency, use eco-materials and ensure good indoor air quality. These efforts have led to LEED Platinum certification.