Italian architect and designer Fabio Novembre's new project pulses red and black, a powerful assertion for a new AC Milan HQ. Taking his sensuous, bold style to the Milanese football club, Novembre melds the red-hued geometry with innovative architectural features to create a true homage to the energy and community of football.
You cannot help but feel that Fabio Novembre understands humans, what drives and excites us, and how colors move and shape us. AC Milan's new headquarters is a study in human vitality and potential: its focus on interacting with the club's past through interactive exhibitions pairs evenly with unique spaces in which to celebrate the football community. One feels Novembre's sensuality like hot breath on ceramic; as the 20+ years architect describes: "I let myself go with the wind, convinced I’m able to seduce everything that surrounds me."
The vitality and energy come through immediately: the design streaks out in a vortex of color. One hallway literally melts a player's jersey into its component colors, streaking in seeming endless lines. Red is the primary color, imbuing the spaces with power and passion. Red is the color of blood, of conflict, of the struggle of the team not only through history but through the tense battle of each match. Black is the accent, it creates sharp edges, outlines, and reaffirms the power of the team. White, the "ground" upon which colors run, is vital light, the essence of pure modernism. The colors are drawn from the team's colors, but serve too as important statements of the building and its purpose. It brands the club as unapologetically modern, a powerful force to be reckoned with. Even the shape of the building rises in a sharp incline, pointing towards human potential.
Casa Milan is not simply a Headquarters, but a locus of community. Fans, Milanese, and tourists alike can come together to celebrate not merely the game but the uplift, the shared human experience of rooting for a common goal (and of course for more goals than their opponent). The space is multifunctional, featuring a restaurant - Cucina Milanello, an exclusive team store, and the Mondo Milan - an interactive exhibition. The team store features smooth columns out of which geometric figures appear to burst forth. It appears like an Eadweard Muybridge motion study, who first photographed the kinetic potential of the body. Mondo Milan, too, necessitates activity, drawing a visitor forward through a tunnel-like timeline. Novembre creates a space where you do not merely observe behind glass, but rather interact and walk through the history with all of the triumphs and defeats of the team's 115 year history. Artifacts, jerseys, and most of all - trophies - become physical links to the ephemeral moments, chants, and emotion of a football match. Now it falls to the team, and its fans, to live up to the bold contention of their new home.
Photography courtesy of Fabio Novembre