24.07.17

  • OBR Paolo Brescia Tommaso Principi Milanofiori Milano facade glass
  • OBR Paolo Brescia Tommaso Principi Milanofiori Milano interior
  • OBR Paolo Brescia Tommaso Principi Milanofiori Milano facade glass
  • OBR Paolo Brescia Tommaso Principi Milanofiori Milano staircase scale
  • OBR Paolo Brescia Tommaso Principi Milanofiori Milano staircase scale
  • OBR Paolo Brescia Tommaso Principi Milanofiori Milano facade wood panels
  • OBR Paolo Brescia Tommaso Principi Milanofiori Milano facade wood panels
  • OBR Paolo Brescia Tommaso Principi Milanofiori Milano facade wood panels
  • OBR Paolo Brescia Tommaso Principi Milanofiori Milano facade glass
  • OBR Paolo Brescia Tommaso Principi Milanofiori Milano terrace garden
  • OBR Paolo Brescia Tommaso Principi Milanofiori Milano terrace garden
  • OBR Paolo Brescia Tommaso Principi Milanofiori Milano terrace garden

OBR Milanofiori Residential Complex

Milanofiori Residential Complex is part of a cluster characterized by a series of functions (offices, hotels, restaurants, cinemas, residences), which has deeply contributed to the improvement of the surrounding area of Assago, in South Milan.
The design of the Residential Complex seeks a symbiosis between architecture and landscape, so that the synthesis of artificial and natural elements could define the quality of living and the sense of belonging by the inhabitants. The interface between the building and the garden catalyzes the interaction between man and environment. This interface is defined by the "C" form of the complex which embraces the public park - conceived as the extension of the existing landscape - and by the porosity from interior to exterior that characterizes all 110 units.
The two facades differ in design: the one facing the street outside is more urban, while the one towards the inner public park is more organic. The design of the urban facade stimulates the sense of belonging thanks to the composition of the white frames which identify separately the units. These frames include vertical wooden panels, which can slide across the frames and control the inner light and privacy as necessary.
The organic facade overlooking the park features double glazed bio-climatic greenhouses. The co-planarity between the glass of the greenhouse and the glass of the guardrail creates an effect in which 'figure-ground' merge together and reverse the roles constantly. This produces a kaleidoscopic effect overlapping the reflection of the public park outside with the transparence of the private gardens inside.
The geometry of the building is shaped by terracing of the upper levels for optimum solar exposure and by tapering of the external terraces in order to increase privacy for residents.
The winter garden has a double value: an environmental one providing a buffer zone, which allows thermal regulation, and an architectural one in allowing extension of the interior living space towards the exterior landscape (and vice versa) permitting different uses as seasons change.
The overlap of different garden layers, from public to private, creates a holistic natural landscape, which is directly customised by each resident by cultivating the gardens, thus personally designing the facade of each unit.
In line with ever changing developments in contemporary living, the porosity of the architecture makes Milanofiori Residential Complex an evolving organism, in perpetual change, preferring the dynamic exchange between architecture and nature and stimulating the interaction between man and environment.

Nomadism and sedentarism
In contemporary life the house has become a place we leave from and return to. This means that nomadic and sedentary attitudes coexist in our everyday experience. To express this duality, it is not enough to think only in terms of housing types that meet the most varied requirements of all possible users. Instead, a paradigm shift is needed, reversing the direction of the discussion: from the house as an object to the inhabitant as the subject.

Living in the garden
Breaking free from the presence of the hypertrophic "house", the design of the dwelling is the expression of the site as a whole, rather than a physical place. This is not simply blurring the distinction between inside / outside, but finding the continuum in which space-time are unified in one entity that cannot be separated. In the garden space and time become a whole evoking the essential meaning of living, in the sense of "taking care".

From collective to polyvalent interconnected complex
The project involves a series of open spaces for social interaction in synergy with other parts of the cluster. In this sense, the typical user lives an "interconnected life", with multiple possibilities of movement even within the same cluster. We try to superseded the concept of "unity" (d'Habitation) in favour of a polyvalent system that overcomes the typical nuclear family separation between housing and workplace imposed by the industrial civilization, towards new models of mutual relations and transversality.

Awards:
2014 Architizer A+Awards Finalist
2013 Ad'A Award for Italian Architecture
2012 Green Good Design Award, Chicago
2012 WAN Awards Residential, London
2011 Leaf overall winner, London
2011 Leaf Awards, Residential Building of the Year, London
2010 European 40 Under 40, Madrid

Project team:
OBR
Buro Happold
Favero & Milan Ingegneria
Studio Ti

Client:
Milanofiori 2000, Gruppo Cabassi

Location:
Assago, Milano

Dimensions:
site area 30.000 sqm
built area 27.400 sqm

Chronology:
2010 Completion
2007 Technical design
2006 Developed design
2005 Concept design
2005 Design competition (1st prize)

Photography:
Mariela Apollonio
Michele Nastasi