Corporate Office

The challenge of simplicity: from historic building to elegant, efficient headquarters

Efficient spaces, elegant lines and innovative systems: complete restructuring that transforms a historic building into a functional workplace for over 1,000 people.


Improving work flows, improving communication between business units, improving overall efficiency. Ernst & Young needed to drastically reduce both physical and information barriers. The Concept Design developed by Global Planning Architecture gave life to a project that facilitates the exchange and sharing of information between personnel and consultants in various locations.

Before starting the design stage, the personnel were interviewed and detailed company organisation charts prepared in order to fully understand the Ernst & Young work dynamics. After an in-depth Building Appraisal, the results were projected onto what the property market has to offer and accompanied by a comparative analysis of costs and benefits of the various options.

Thanks to proprietary modelling tools and the experience of the multidisciplinary teams at Global Planning Architecture, Ernst & Young was able to rapidly and accurately assess the benefits of staff consolidation. A choice that led to the complete reorganisation of a 18,000 square metre building in the centre of Milan. The project then developed into intense space planning and engineering work which added value to a historic building, making it a modern facility in keeping with the client's organisational flows, company regulations and changing needs for space convertibility.


The architectural design states the company identity in a solid, institutional and reassuring way. A modern identity, capable of projecting itself into the future by maximising the contrasts of contemporary design. This concept design can be perceived as soon as you enter the hall where the contrast between the sobriety of the external facades and the discovery of the unexpected forms of the interior plays an important role. The design reconfirms the opening up of the company to the city, thanks to two large steel volumes that dominate the space and take the identity of the company towards the exterior.

The same stylistic language can also be seen in the corridors, communal areas and receptions on each floor. Modernity and classicism are combined throughout the workplace, with traditional forms reinterpreted with contemporary materials that reinforce the corporate image. With this in mind, a great deal of attention has been paid to small details such as finishes, secondary colours, decorations and even the sign graphics. In addition, made-to-measure furniture has meant that different coloured light can be used to produce reflections of varying intensity, thereby enhancing the communal and hospitality areas.


Defining with maximum precision the types, intended use and dimensions of the space has played a key role in the success of the project. Special attention has been paid to the professional figures provided with an ideal mix of partners, managers, staff and administrative staff to ensure better interaction between functions and departments, organised in service lines.

The internal layout has taken account of the need for privacy and the advisory services that Ernst & Young provides. The new headquarters have a number of individual areas or areas for small work groups which are organised to match the look and feel of the external facade.

Global Planning Architecture’s project management ability has been vital to meeting delivery deadlines and not interrupting Ernst & Young’s business. The work was performed in three separate stages, with some of the staff already operational while work was being completed in the rest of the building. The project ended with important communication and in-house training work as well as organisation of the staff move‑in process.

Services provided: Strategic consulting, Change management, Space Planning, Interior Design, MEP engineering, Brand Integration & Visual Communication, Project Management, Construction & Site Management, Training and Information

Location: Milan, Italy

Numbers: 18.000 mq, 1.000 people

“Knowledge that every decision has been taken strategically after analysing all the variables was both a surprise to us and a great satisfaction. It generated great trust in the team led by the architect, Giuliano Azzinari, something that is vital to working in the best possible way. Global Planning Architecture’s experience in managing the worksite brought the workplace to a level of excellence and did not even disrupt our work.

Manager of E&Y Italia