Moroso headquarters by David Adjaye


Architect David Adjaye has unveiled his design for the new headquarters of design brand Moroso on the outskirts of Udine, Italy.

The building is conceived as a village of smaller volumes containing offices, linked by bridges and supported on a base containing the public showrooms.

The whole will be wrapped in overlapping marble panels.

Here's some more information from Moroso:

The Site

The project site lies on the northern outskirts of Udine along the arterial Via Nazionale route on the site of the office and production facilities of the renowned Moroso furniture brand. The new office headquarters are to be located in close proximity to the current production building, respecting the 20m setback from the main road as stipulated by local guidelines and – if at all possible – safeguarding the row of existing handsome trees.

The site and its surroundings are characterized by a panoply of mainly low-rise commercial and industrial buildings along the main road and one- to three-storey residential buildings further inland. The overall area of the premises amounts to roughly 44.500 sqm with the new office headquarters occupying the south-western and the new production building the eastern portion. The immediate surroundings are fairly flat and in stark contrast with the 3000 meter high Alps mountain range framing views looking east- and northwards.

A small village of houses

The architectural concept we have developed is the creation of a very specific architectural gem which responds to the site, the brief and the Moroso philosophy. The project has been organised in the manner of a small village of houses that sit on a communal base. The base harbours the public functions of showroom and presentation room with the office spaces nestled within the houses above. These are linked by bridges. On the top floor communal areas such as a lounge / library / cafeteria and a large roof terrace are proposed. The articulation of three blocks combines an intimacy of internal spaces with the benefit of visual connectivity and excellent climate control. The positioning of the volumes, cores and cantilevers is in careful response to the suns daily movements, minimising glare and heat impact whilst allowing for adequate lighting conditions.


The introvert nature of the project not only reflects the sense of togetherness of the Moroso working environment, but also responds to site conditions and the issue of orientation. This introversion is juxtaposed by maximising visual relationships with the hanging garden and stunning mountain range to the north.

In-between Outdoor Spaces

As a result of the articulation of three-dimensional volumes on a base and the partial wrapping of the overall form with the façade skin, intriguing in-between outdoor spaces become an important focus of the project. In combination with the sun’s movement an exciting play of light and shadow comes to the forefront, which is different every day.


The central - south-facing – volume acts as the main distributor by housing the freestanding stair, the main void, lifts, restrooms and meeting rooms. The two other – east and west-facing - volumes are accessed via bridges and house the offices.


The vertical circulation consists of a centrally located freestanding stair that acts as a main connector between the Ground Floor and the First Floor offices and three generous enclosed stairs, which also act as escape stairs. This distribution allows short routes from one level to the next, complemented by 2 no. lifts situated in the central volume.

Garden / Terraces

The boundaries between inside and outside have been blurred by introducing generous interlocking gardens and terraces, allowing outdoor spaces to become areas of meeting, presentation, inspiration, reflection, contemplation and relaxation. The new main garden consists of a wide 1.5m high perimeter hedge, a water feature and different tree species forming an arboretum in harmony with the existing trees.This is complemented by a hanging garden of ferns concealing the old production building and introducing a moment of quietness.

White Rock

The outer appearance of the new office building is characterised by nobility, a combination of translucency/solidity and a play of light/shadow. The external façade skin consists of white marble panels, which are staggered and set back, thus resulting in an intriguing day-and night-time effect.


Visitors coming from the Client car park situated in the north access the building in its north-western corner. Staff members access the site via Via Dante and park their car in the underground parking garage located underneath the building. Deliveries also access the premises via Via Dante.


Facades: white marble panels - staggered and set back / frameless fi xed double-glazing panels / push-out glass window doors / hinged glass window doors / glass balustrades
Internal Spaces: tinted, sparkled screed to showroom / timber-lined auditorium / timber floors to office spaces, lounge and cafeteria / tinted exposed concrete slabs / tinted exposed concrete staircases and walls

Posted on Wednesday February 24th 2010 at 4:23 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • daedalus

    hum…. not very imaginative.
    Marble is a material with so much potential – this could have been been pushed more forward instead of simply staggering panels on top of eachother in a random pattern with a few backlit areas.
    The overal shape is also a bit dry, but hard to comment further without some additional plans or views.

  • ornament and crime

    Great 2 second assessment daedalus – have you even seen any of the built work by Adjaye ?

    If you had, you would know that he is one of the last architects to create buildings that ALWAYS look better than the renderings.

    I do agree though, some plans and a section would be useful.

  • We’ve seen something like this before..ermmm where ?

  • Viktor U

    Would have thought Moroso with such inovative materials and designs would have opted for something less … well … BORING .. this is a disappointing design! At least from the images provided i cannot say more!

  • SB

    Ornament, That wouldn’t be too difficult in this case. The renderings are rubish….

  • angry catalan

    I really don’t like most British architecture at all…

  • Daniel

    Ridiculous comment by Angry Catalan, such a pity that most comments on Dezeen seem to resort to such childish and often offensive remarks. Dezeen seems to be coming a tabloid website.

  • Teds

    It looks like the Marble panels will be thin enough to appear back lit at night which will be stunning if so. During the day they’ll just blend in to the surrounding walls.
    A glowing marble box by night and a textural sculpted stone cube in the day, it’ll be beautiful.

  • angry catalan

    Daniel: First of all, I’m sorry I offended you. I don’t mean being British automatically makes you a “bad” architect. This building doesn’t look “bad” like, say, something totally out of scale or unreasonable or poorly built (although the renders provide little info about whether it will be or not…) It just looks boring – in a very British way. There are lots and lots of buildings that are “Barcelona boring” – typical sub-Ferrater crap. Mainstream architecture is usually boring in any country but the case of Britain is very particular because the politics of the architectural scene there are so different from Europe and particularly around here that it’s very hard to care about any of it! I really meant no offense. Just think that here was no high-tech, no postmodernism, suburbs are pretty much a new thing, there’s no Urban Renewal controversy, “middle class” is more like “working class”, David Chipperfield has built a pair of buildings that are actually not stellar, “modernism” doesn’t make you think of “brutalism”, housing estates have always been private and nobody is demolishing them (also they weren’t really modernist but just poorly planned), the very concept of what a city looks like is different, traditional architecture comes from a different angle and influenced (our) modernism to a greater degree, Le Corbusier was interpreted in a different way and Mies was much less influential, we had nothing like Archigram… art was also very different, tachisme was all the rage when pop culture was starting to become a high culture phenomenon in the UK and elsewhere, and so on and so forth. So whenever I see something that “looks British” I automatically roll my eyes but it might actually be a decent building! To each their own.

    And of course there are outstanding buildings by outstanding British architects. I’m very fond of Chipperfield’s Toyota building in Japan, for example, or early Rogers… but current Foster and Rogers, Future Systems, Hadid, FAT, Alsop…? Nah, it’s all either very boring or very concerned about stuff that’s not an issue for me. Of course there’s much more to British architecture than that, though, but it’s hard to know about it from outside!

    I don’t think I’m making myself clear but at least I tried… in any case I’m sorry I offended you.

  • me

    Agreed. Adjaye delivers, and executes buildings that are better than the renderings.

    Wish I could say that for the majority of other firms out there.

  • Will

    I certainly don’t agree that DA’s buildings are in reality appear better than the renderings- 2 of his designs are on my doorstep – the detailing and finish are pretty dreadful

  • Peter

    If this project wasn’t by Adjaye – I don’t think it would be posted on Dezeen. I don’t have any sense of the building or interior from these renderings.

  • None of the understated elegance if his early residential work.

    Surprising choice of architect, and very masculine result considering Patrzia Moroso’s patronage of the most challenging designers.