The Loreto Open Community project is the winning proposal of the competition organized by the Municipality of Milan to redesign Piazzale Loreto, now a crowded traffic junction. Designed by Metrogramma, together with Mobility in Chain, Studio Andrea Caputo, LAND, Temporiuso, Squadrati and developed by Ceetrus Nhood, the project envisions a layered system of architectural objects and public spaces that would foster a wide array of activities while also shaping a new green area for the city.
The masterplan reconfigures traffic flows, opening the site to an urban design operating on three levels: a ground floor square, a sunken plaza and a rooftop square. The design proposes three glass and wood buildings housing commercial and retail functions, which define a new boundary for car traffic on the perimeter of the square while also directing pedestrian flow to the core of the urban space. The programme defined in close connection to the surrounding neighbourhood will provide a lively and safe hub, open 24/7, and promote cross-breeding of functions. The glass facades become part of the experience of the urban space, reflecting the activities within the Square. The buildings benefit from good thermal inertia thanks to the surrounding vegetation and use a ventilated facade system with bris-soleils. Facing the plaza is a fourth new building designed by Studio Caputo using a similar architectural language.
The identity of the Square of LOC is defined by subtraction. We cleaned up, optimized, open the space to light, avoiding any unnecessary addition and over-design. The architecture of the public space can indeed become an icon and landmark itself, more than any compositional gesture - Arch. Boschetti
The surface of the square lowers towards the centre, and together with the surrounding buildings, creates an entirely different experience of the place through its planted areas and amphitheatre staircases. Accessibility is granted to the use of a system of ramps, staircases and elevators. The third layer, the rooftop terrace, features vegetation that shields the activities from the adjacent roads and brings the focus towards the centre of the urban space. Wide staircases connect the different levels of the Square, doubling as seating spaces and fostering open-air activities. The surface of the Square incorporates different materials, with the sunken plaza featuring wood and permeable concrete, while the ground floor one showcases a stone finish.
Using both passive and active strategies for energy control, the project is grounded in sustainable principles and technologies, in line with the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Loreto Open Community will recuperate more than 10,000 m2 of green public space with canopy trees planted directly in the ground, creating an attractive and lively destination for Milan's residents.