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Renovation of a mixed-use building in Milan, Italy

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location: Milan, Italy

year: 2018
status: Competition

client: Camera di Commercio Metropolitana di Milano-Monza-Brianza-Lodi
program: Offices, housing, retail

GFA: 2,920 m2

budget: 8,020,000 euro

team: Lucia Zamponi, Filippo Nanni





About sixty years after its construction, the building complex formerly home of the small Credito Bergamasco (Antonio Cassi Ramelli, 1957-1962) has today the opportunity to rethink its spaces, renewing uses and programs, in order to re-join the dynamics of a central area of Milan. The challenge of diversifying the programmatic offer in a building set up as mono-functional, is associated with the redefinition of the urban image of the fragmented and obsolete building and guaranteeing exemplary levels of energy performance.

The existing façade that characterizes the lower floors is preserved in its entirety while on the top part a new volume is superposed to reconstitute the front interrupted along Via delle Orsole. On the side of Vicolo Santa Maria alla Porta the upper part of the building is stretched out to be aligned with the podium while on the side of Via delle Orsole a sequence of three withdrawals offers large terraces facing south-east. The volumetric extension, respecting the minimum distances from neighboring buildings, suggests the overlapping of different programs. The dialogue between pre-existence and project creates a unique and unrepeatable whole. The past becomes heritage, the future becomes possibility.

The project aims to create a complex that lives during all hours of the day by stratifying programs of a different nature and with different levels of accessibility. Except for the lobbies of offices and residences, the ground floor is entirely open to the public and permeable. The entrances are entirely redesigned. The access to the residences and offices are located on the little square in Vicolo Santa Maria alla Porta. Along Via delle Orsole the generous volume and arcades of the ground floor will host commercial spaces. The building opens up to the citizens and passers by, intercepting the flows in a sequence of internal and external spaces, which cross the parcel and directly link Via delle Orsole to the alley Santa Maria alla Porta. This castellation of spaces could be designed for a single user or for multiple activities, commercial or cultural, which integrate the offer for the residences and offices above. The project accommodates 700 square meters of residential space equivalent to 10-15 apartments of variable surface between 45 and 90 square meters distributed from the fifth to the seventh and last floor. The surface of the office space is about 1600 square meters and is located from the second to the forth floor. The position of the accesses and the modular façade system facilitate the reversibility of offices and residences according to the demand. To build up the extension and for structural reinforcement we decided to use a wooden system. The wooden structure and the dry envelope have very low weights that determine a significant economy in the sizing of structures and loads on existing ones that will be reinforced on time. The prefabrication of wooden floors with integrated sound insulation allows to reduce costs and production time. The stone façade is completely preserved and restored. The geometrical patter of vertical lines defines the continuation between existing and new while the contrast of materiality enhances the pre-existence, the details and technological choices ensure an energy efficiency that meets labels goals, functional requirements, flexibility and comfort.

The project façade will have a load-bearing wooden framework with mineral wool insulation that guarantees high energy performance. The external cladding is made of prefabricated concrete panels with Ductal synthetic fibers or similar, to guarantee quality and lightness. The rhythm of the openings follows the existing structural axes in a modular system that allows the prefabrication of the elements. The full height openings maximize the supply of natural light in order to reduce the need for artificial lighting and exploit passive solar heating in winter. The vertical elements in Ductal are effective fixed solar protections that limit the solar contribution in the summer months and create a game of reliefs and shadows that refers to the existing façade. The enclosure has an outer thermal insulation of 20 cm on the upper floors, while the insulation on the lower floors is positioned on the inside of the walls to preserve the existing façade and proportions.


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