The site could be considered as a limit area between the built existing city in the south of “Via Gallarate” and the new park which characterizes the urban integrated planning of “Cascina Merlata”.
The presence of the historical building of “Cascina Merlata” suggested the study of the rural Milanese house, which has shown the court, opened or closed, as the common element around which the life of all the inhabitants was organized and developed.
Re-thinking this concept, the court is able to define a big potential of relations and, at the same time, to propose different levels of privacy according to its use.
So the project is born, planimetrically, around the space of the big inner court, designed to be not only a “square” for the apartments and the inhabitants, but even and mostly an urban filter area between the existing city and the park to the north of the area.
In fact, the closed shape of a plan organized around the court is overcome by lifting the two opposite short sides of the (monolithic) building containing the different housing typologies.
Through this strong plastic movement, the project wants to propose itself, not just only in a formal sense, as a gateway to the park and to the new area of Cascina Merlata, including within its perimeter the pedestrian and cycling track.
The housing typologies, that are organized at various levels, are served through a gallery distribution, which wants to exploit the relational potential offered by the presence of the inner big court.
Dynamism and communication are the regulating criteria of the project: the possibility of movement is not only linked to the necessity of distribution from and to the apartments but has to be considered as an opportunity in terms of physical and ideal communication.
Architects: Laurent Didier, Stefano Cerolini Location: Via Gallarate, Milan, Italy Project Team: Clemence Durupt, Marion Lacroix Project Area: 19,500 sqm Project Year: 2011