Porta Volta Fondazione Feltrinelli / Herzog & de Mueron

Expected to be completed in 2013, Herzog & de Meuron’s new redevelopment project in , will include the headquarters for the Fondazione Giangiacomo Feltrinelli.  The Feltrinelli Group considers the site as an ideal environment for the foundation’s multiple activities and the overall masterplan for Porta Volta will consist of the Fondazione, two new office buildings, and a generous green area.   “This undertaking by the Feltrinelli Group has an important urban dimension in that it strengthens and reinforces the city.”

© Herzog & de Meuron

More about the project and more images after the break.

© Herzog & de Meuron

The strong historical analysis of the site drove the evolution of the design proposal.  The urban organisation of Porta Volta traces back the 15th century when the Mura Spagnole city walls defined the city’s growing boundaries. After the opening of the bastion in the late 19th century, Via Alessandro Volta laid the basis for the city’s extension outside the ancient walls, connecting as a new, prominent urban axis the historical center with Cimitero Monumentale. Today, the emptiness of the site is a testament to the walls and, at the same time, reminds one of the destructions this area has suffered during the Second World War.

© Herzog & de Meuron

“The long-limbed form, linear building refers, first, to the Gothic tradition that is expressed in important buildings in the city of Milan on the other to farms that dot the landscape of slender Lombardy,” explained Herzog.

© Herzog & de Meuron
© Herzog & de Meuron
© Herzog & de Meuron

All images courtesy Herzog & de Meuron for ArchDaily.

Cite: Cilento, Karen. "Porta Volta Fondazione Feltrinelli / Herzog & de Mueron" 23 Mar 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 24 Jul 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=53599>

36 comments

  1. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    im sorry, but these guys could get away with murder. perhaps an interesting idea in theory but common this looks terrible. if anyone else attempted this they would be demolished by the critics, but im sure that because it is H&dM everyone will love it. blah.

  2. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I don’t see what’s so bad about it SPUD.
    Is it just the materials, or the urban form?
    To my mind, this is a strong and rational urban response.
    And its ‘fit’ with the geometry and scale of the neighbourhood is excellent.

  3. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I agree they spent about 10 min designing this, bought some flashy renderings…done. This is not design there is nothing interesting in regard to the site, the program, the green space, lighting, scale…not even anything formally or materially interesting which is what they are known for. Maybe this is a first swing and there is much more below the surface but not from what I see here.

  4. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Where are the tomatoes is exactly the point.

    Where along here could you sell tomatoes? Would you want to stop and meet your friends at a table outside? Would you pause here in the rain?

    If this building was constructed 500 years ago, on this same spot, for a Foundation, could you imagine a dramatically more powerful engagement with the pedestrian public? We can critique the aesthetic endlessly, but the fact remains that this building gives little back to the public realm. F

    Herzog & Demuron, with this new building in Milan you very well could move the client towards a greater civic good. Consider how much the buildings in Basel have contributed to making you into such aesthetic beasts! Your buildings are gorgeous, but do you want to exhaust it all on skinned volumes?

  5. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    It’s true that H&dM are known for their interesting play of materials and forms. But, simplicity can also be powerful. The surrounding site already has so much going on, and adding more colors, materials, and forms will make the project seem out-of-place. It’s evident that the focus of this project is the social and cultural aspects it involves. But, I do hope that they will articulate the spaces and forms a little more in later stages.

  6. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    the transparency of this structure is a very powerful way to connect the old city to the new, as well as to deal with materiality and . the thing i see to be lacking is any variety of interior space. however without a plan and section it is not possible to make a complete evaluation

  7. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Well we could agree on many things, but we all shouldn’t forget one thing, nobody can make excellent projects always so give it a brake, and try to get the best of their vision and experience…and constructive criticism is a god thing to do, not pure criticism…

  8. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    There might be a problem with the way the project is presented. The focus is mainly on the urban qualities of the form and volume of the project. Yet when I saw the renderings, I have imagined the ground floor to be completely open to public, which would create a porous relationship between two sides of the building (park and street). The other buildings around have the same qualities and if this one doesn’t have it, it might actually be an urban obstacle rather than a generator, just one of those nice glass facades one “has to” walk by.

  9. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Who did the renderings/video?
    I’m pretty sure it wasn’t H&dM.
    Does anybody know?

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      They have worked with the firm “tronic” before for the “56 Leonard St. Project” but I’m not sure about this one. I mean, I wouldn’t buy this if I were the client, it just doesn’t look attractive enough. There is no life within the building both in the renders and the video. It kills the “brutal beauty” of the whole thing.

  10. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    it is like a baby who want to talk with old people… and i don’t speak from its really easy and uninteresting design (a new ballon frame typology?)

  11. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I also agree with SPUD, and comitant. There are some good things to like about it, but they need to get the ground level right, otherwise no better than the worst of ’60s modernism – “New New Brutalilsm”?

  12. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I think, it will be good. If I compare the early concept renderings and than the real project by H&deM, there is always big quality shift (the Tate Modern Extention, the Roche headquarters in Basel or the Southhampton museum). So I still believe they will make a good project.

  13. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Super Simple… stuffing program the offices and media space look exactly the same… urban stuffed barn…

  14. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Labai prastas darbelis.Tiesiog patvitina tai, jog šiuolaikinė architektūra yra tingi ir be fantazijos. Modulis dar ne viskas, reik mokėt su juo žaist…

  15. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    everything said already.

    can not believe it. this has to be changed! the horizontal scale is ridiculous. i am totally disappointed. or it’s already 1st of april?

  16. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    But guys, it’s like a hot house to grow tomatoes IN ITALY = hot hot hot
    The only green thing about this building is that you actually can use it as a hot house.

  17. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    first of all, i love how the MAJORITY of people, even the ones who try WAY too hard to articulate their voice in the architectural profession have not even attempted a built project, and I am confident in my prediction based on your uneducated remarks to a project that is architecturally sensitive to the urban environment and had a simplistic approach to the scale and horizontal linearity to the context. When you are as established and architecturally aware to all realms of our field as they are, then I suggest you keep your mediocre, self absorbed, “i think i know everything about architecture” comments to yourself. Post me when YOU have something on this blog to talk about…

    • Thumb up Thumb down +2

      wow, v1ctory for you! way to show the little dictator within you. i’ll just tell you this: the next time you talk about music, please show me in advance all the songs you have written/composed. the same with cinema. and literature. thanks.

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