Not only it has an impressive facade, but also a space with a see-through floor over an ancient Roman theater

In 1927, architect Paolo Mezzanotte began designing the building that was to become the seat of Borsa Italiana, the Italian stock exchange, in Milan. The building was completed five years later and since then it is known as ‘Palazzo Mezzanotte‘ (Palace Mezzanotte). Having survived the Second World War, the Palazzo never stopped its financial activity. Not even during the 8 years required for the refurbishment of its interior spaces.

The impressive 36-meters-high facade, with its mixture of 20th-century architecture and Neoclassicism, never changed.

However, when the London Stock Exchange acquired the building, it decided to refurbish the interior. The works were also needed to centralize several offices that were distributed in various locations around the city. With this in mind, Milanese architects Dante Benini and Luca Gonzo began working on the old closed offices to turn them into open spaces. The ‘Sala delle grida‘, where people used to shout their offers, had lost its original function in the 1990s. Now, the majestic hall is a multi-purpose conference center. After completing the four-year renovation of the offices, the architects focused on the congress center, the kitchens, the cafeteria area, and the services block.

During the construction of the building in the 1930s, it turned out that in the area there were remains of a Roman theater dating back to the 1st century after Christ. Benini and Gonzo enhanced as much as possible the ancient archaeological findings. The area is now a sort of glass case in which to admire the precious Roman remains through a transparent floor. Moreover, this incredible space, enhanced by six columns covered with Gio Ponti majolica tiles, can host conferences, meetings, or gala dinners.

Ilona Catani Scarlett

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