/ A discreet and accessible residential architecture that transform anti-iconicity in its strenght
Originally designed for students and young professionals living in the areas surrounding the universities Bocconi and NABA, the project subsequently morphed into its final version as a residential complex open to broader requirements. A design that relinquishes reckless iconicity in favour of a subtler, almost anonymous effect, that is nonetheless always motivated and never superficial, and worthy of being discovered.
The complex develops over three floors, the groundfloor accomodating the areas for communal living. The one-, two- and three-room apartments can welcome a diversified community.
Dry construction techniques were in fact studied for its realisation and materials that create both lightness and strength — such as steel — were employed. The building complex is arranged around a green courtyard, which opens onto the road but is protected by the fence. The large hackberry at its centre becomes a distinguishing feature, a declaration, a pleasant image for those looking onto the garden and the street from the windows and balconies.
The open courtyard is a reference to the urban gardens that in Milan are frequently found as a discreet inner presence and a view for the few. Here the courtyard opens up instead to public life, acting as a filter between individual living and communal urban life.
Carved out from the simple, geometric volumes of the façade, the spaces for the balconies create an irregular yet harmonious succession of full and empty spaces, openings and blind spots. The hollowed-out balconies were coated using an innovative material that recalls klinker — another tribute to the milanese tradition of façades entirely clad in this material.
The soft aqua green hue of the hollowed-out spaces is the only subtle touch of colour on the clear, bright, monochromatic façade, the result of a combination of three shades of white with different degrees of reflection.
The project also focused on age- and ability-related needs. The ‘design for all’ concept is interpreted as communal areas, flats and garden accessible to everybody.