Sunnei transforms former recording studio into fashion brand HQ in Milan

Italian fashion brand Sunnei has renovated the interior of an ex-recording studio to create a minimalist headquarters as a canvas for furniture and art pieces by the brand's collaborators.

Located near its flagship store in Milan, the brand named its headquarters and studio Palazzina Sunnei to reference typical Milanese residential buildings.

A gate to the headquarters is branded with the Sunnei logo
The Sunnei headquarters is located within a former recording studio

Palazzina Sunnei was organised as a series of multi-functional "livable spaces".

It houses a photo studio, showroom, archive and meeting rooms along with office space for Sunnei's team.

When the fashion brand first moved into its new headquarters in 2020 it occupied a single building titled Palazzina 1.

More recently, the brand expanded into an adjoining building, aptly titled Palazzina 2, which has interiors designed by Milan-based Studio Mare.

A wall of speakers occupies the rear of the showroom space
A Superronda sofa by Archizoom was positioned in its showroom space

The addition to the headquarters was designed by Studio Mare and occupies three neighbouring floors totalling an additional 400 square metres of space.

The interiors of the headquarters have a minimal palette and are populated by artworks, objects and furniture by friends and collaborators of the brand.

"We asked some of our artist friends to create some pieces just for us to fill the blank areas," Sunnei founders Loris Messina and Simone Rizzo told Dezeen.

"These items are never invasive, rather they offer a nice surprise while wandering the building."

The walls of Sunnei Palazzina were painted white
The interiors of the headquarters have a minimal and pared-back look

Insulating, soundproofing ceiling panels from the building's former use cover the ceilings of rooms and were incorporated throughout the design of Palazzina 1.

Walls were painted white and fitted with white-painted cork panels that can be used as pinboards for the team's ideas.

Hard materials, including concrete, polished stone and terrazzo, cover the floors and juxtapose with the building's original function as a recording studio.

The Sunnei Palazzina courtyard includes furniture and art
Sunnei fitted the Palazzina with furniture and objects designed by friends and collaborators

"We also wanted to turn the whole office into a whiteboard and so we did," said Messina and Rizzo.

"All of the internal walls on each floor are coated by cork panels which allow us to experiment, paste our thoughts and ideas onto it to help us better visualize what we are doing."

A metal table and chair reflects the trees and shrubbery
A polished metal table and chairs designed by NM3 were placed in the corner of the courtyard

Much like Sunnei's bold and bright direction, the brand inserted unexpected and sculptural pieces throughout the building.

The basement level of the headquarters houses the brand's showroom, meeting rooms and a courtyard. In the showroom, a wall of Funktion-One speakers occupy the rear of the space and serve as a backdrop for a collection of off-white Superonda sofas by Archizoom for Poltronova.

Custom made outdoor furniture was crafted Milan-based NM3 from laser-cut stainless steel sheets and reflect the courtyard and surrounding trees from its polished surfaces.

"The magic happens in the garden, where the furniture is designed by Milan based collective NM3 and pieces by Ben Orkin," said Messina and Rizzo.

Openings in the walls lead between work spaces and rooms
Walls of the headquarters were fitted with white painted cork panels

An elevator, which runs through the core of the building, connects Palazzina 1 and 2 via doors that open on both sides forming a moving corridor between the two spaces.

Gaming and office hybrid chairs were organised around large meeting tables, while in other rooms yoga ball chairs provide flexible seating options.

A squared window looks into a room with sofas and chairs
Palazzina kept recording studio features including insulated ceilings and a control room window

Denim upholstered Le Bambole chairs and sofa set by Mario Bellini fill the founders' main office space below wall-mounted ear-shaped speakers by New York-based designer Sam Stewart.

"We have big, made to measure, square desks and ergonomic chairs...while our creative office has a piece by Sam Stewart, Bambole couches by Bellini for B&B and a table by Bloc Studios," said Messina and Rizzo.

"We made a point to create a lot of communal spaces where they can mingle and bond and take some time to decompress."

Chairs fitted with exercise balls were placed at a stone table
Unexpected furniture was placed around the office included chairs fitted with exercise balls

On the upper floors, a custom-built modular metal kitchen unit by Very Simple Kitchen zones a small canteen. In the canteen is a large chipboard table surrounded by stools by Visibility for Matter Made.

Adjoined to the canteen-style space, are the building's e-commerce, social media, PR and photo studios and are similarly scattered with sculptures including pistachio green pieces by Alton Alvarez.

A metal kitchen unit was organised at the rear of a canteen
A metal kitchen by Very Simple Kitchen locates a canteen area

"We hope people will use the space as if it was their own home. Yes, this is an office and being here is not always the most fun but we hope being surrounded by beautiful decor will motivate our team," said the founders.

"We also love to invite our friends to come and chill, drink a glass of wine. We want people to feel great when they visit us. It goes from everybody, from suppliers to press and collaborators."

The studio used stone across its tables
The studio wanted to create multi-functional spaces

In 2019, Ance Studio's relocated its headquarters to a 1970s brutalist-style building in Sweden, which was filled with artwork and furniture in an effort to create a fashion-school atmosphere.

Fashion brand MSGM also moved its offices to a building that was home to a former blacksmith's workshop.

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