Sunnei transforms a former recording studio into a new headquarters in Milan


Italian fashion brand Sunnei has renovated the interior of a former recording studio to create a minimalist headquarters that serves as a canvas for furniture and artwork by the brand’s collaborators.

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

Sunnei’s head office is located in a former recording studio

Palazzina Sunnei was organized as a series of multifunctional “living spaces”.

It houses a photo studio, showroom, archive and meeting rooms as well as offices for the Sunnei 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 has expanded into an adjoining building, aptly titled Palazzina 2, whose interiors have been designed by Milan-based Studio Mare.

A wall of speakers takes up the rear of the showroom space
An Archizoom Superronda sofa has been positioned in its showroom space

The head office addition was designed by Studio Mare and occupies three adjoining floors totaling an additional 400 square meters.

Headquarters interiors have a minimal palette and are populated with artwork, objects and furniture from friends and collaborators of the brand.

“We asked some of our artist friends to create pieces just for us to fill in the blanks,” Sunnei founders Loris Messina and Simone Rizzo told Dezeen.

“These items are never invasive, rather they provide a nice surprise as you walk around the building.”

The walls of Sunnei Palazzina have been painted white
Headquarters interiors have a minimal, clean look

Insulating and sound-absorbing ceiling panels from the building’s former use cover the ceilings of the rooms and have been incorporated into the design of Palazzina 1.

The walls have been painted white and fitted with white painted corkboards which can be used as bulletin boards for the team’s ideas.

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

Sunnei Palazzina courtyard features furniture and artwork
Sunnei has equipped the Palazzina with furniture and objects designed by friends and collaborators

“We also wanted to turn the whole office into a whiteboard and that’s what we did,” Messina and Rizzo said.

“All the interior walls of each floor are covered with cork boards that allow us to experiment, to stick our thoughts and ideas to help us better visualize what we are doing.”

A metal table and chair reflect the trees and shrubs
A polished metal table and chairs designed by NM3 have been placed in the corner of the courtyard

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

The basement of the headquarters houses the brand’s showroom, meeting rooms and a courtyard. In the showroom, a Funktion-One speaker wall takes up the back of the space and serves as the backdrop for a collection of off-white Superonda sofas by Archizoom for Poltronova.

The bespoke outdoor furniture was crafted from laser cut stainless steel sheets and reflects the surrounding yard and trees from its polished surfaces.

“The magic happens in the garden, where the furniture is designed by the Milanese collective NM3 and the pieces by Ben Orkin,” said Messina and Rizzo.

Openings in the walls lead between workspaces and rooms
The walls of the head office have been fitted with cork panels painted white

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

Hybrid gaming and office chairs have been arranged around large meeting tables, while in other rooms, yoga ball chairs provide flexible seating options.

A square window overlooks a room with sofas and chairs
Palazzina retained features of the recording studio, including insulated ceilings and a control room window

Mario Bellini’s denim-covered Le Bambole armchairs and sofas fill the founders’ main office space beneath New York designer Sam Stewart’s ear-shaped wall-mounted speakers.

“We have large bespoke square desks and ergonomic chairs…while our creative office has a piece by Sam Stewart, Bambole sofas by Bellini for B&B and a table by Bloc Studios,” Messina and Rizzo said.

“We have made a point of creating lots of common spaces where they can mingle and bond and take time to decompress.”

Chairs fitted with exercise balls have been placed at a stone table
Unexpected furniture has been placed around the office, including chairs fitted with exercise balls

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

Adjoining the canteen-style space are the building’s e-commerce, social media, PR and photo studios and are also dotted with sculpture, including pistachio green pieces by Alton Alvarez.

A metal kitchen cabinet has been organized in the back of a canteen
A metal kitchen by Very Simple Kitchen locates a canteen space

“We hope people will use the space as if it were their own home. Yes, it’s an office and being here isn’t always the most fun, but we hope being surrounded by a beautiful decor will motivate our team,” said the founders.

“We also like to invite our friends over to relax, have a glass of wine. We want people to feel good when they visit us. This includes everyone from suppliers to press and collaborators.”

The studio used stone on its tables
The studio wanted to create multifunctional spaces

In 2019, Ance Studio moved 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 has also moved its offices to a building that housed a former blacksmith shop.


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