The intervention is part of an urban regeneration process of a courtyard in a typical block of the residential suburbs of south-east Milan. The existing building was a car repairing shop dated back to 1940, a one-story concrete building with a vaulted roof.
The new building is spread over two floors above ground and one underground and is generated by an alternation of solid and voids, which allows the new housing units to overlook exclusively private patios. This layout is motivated by the particular situation of the plot in which the project is placed. This choice allows to create a building with an urban character that, at the same time, manages to give each unit an intimate and domestic dimension. Access to individual villas is via a common walkway illuminated by a natural light coming from voids located in the roof, between the units. The south-east facades are characterized by a combination of full length mirrors with wooden blind panels to balance the needs of interior lighting and privacy. The north-west facades instead, facing the existing buildings, are blind and compact, the only source of light is constituted by a ribbon opening placed in correspondence of the first floors, which guarantees the response of air to the opposite rooms. A layer of gravel that mitigates the solar glare covers the third front of the building, the roof, visible from the buildings that make up the context.
The particular situation of the plot prevented us from using the external surrounding walls to open the views. For this reason we have decided to dig voids within the solid shape, in order to create private patios to guarantee privileged view to each unit. By doing so we have retrieved a concept that comes from classical antiquity, the “Atrium”, the most important part of the Roman “Domus”, where guests were welcomed and the more public rooms of the house overlooked. This architectural void has become the compositional rule of the entire project and its characterizing element. The patio is the ruling space around which domestic life is organized, as well as circulation. The building has an urban character but, at the same time, gives each unit an intimate and domestic dimension. The patio returns no longer only as a design void and spatial organization of the house, but also as a natural extension of the domestic environment. Here the margin between the urban exterior and the private interior becomes a room to be inhabited, in which man establishes a private dialogue with nature.
Location: via Cadolini 13, 20137 Milano – Italy
Year: Concept Design 2013 / Schematic Design 2013 / Detailed Design 2014 / Artistic Direction 2015 – 2019
Client: Cadolini Immobiliare
Development Management: MA2A
Design Partner: Arch. Francesco de Felice
Structure: Ing. Roberto Cigada
Engineering: Greenin Engineering
Estimation costs: Arch. Andrej Mikuz
Work Management: Arch. Alessia Pessano
Construction Site Safety: Geom. Antonio Del Bianco
Excavations: Manfreda Scavi
Window Fitters: BF Legno
Photography: Federico Villa Studio
Styling: Sara Dassi
Awarded at the German Design Award 2022 with the "Special Mention" in the Category - Excellent Architecture