The new ERA3 residential building in Milan, to a plan by LPzR Architetti, stands in the northern outskirts. This former industrial belt has undergone conversion of late and has gradually become residential. Like many a similar operation, this complex stems from demolishing a previous factory and now completes the line of buildings along via Eraclito, running lengthwise within its plot.
The shape is a cluster of minimal housing units brought together in successive operations of adding and subtracting. From ground-level upwards, at each storey the housing units become less numerous, resulting in a complex shape and proliferating private outdoor spaces.
The whole building was designed as a manifesto for complexity in contemporary architecture. The different volumes are picked out in different materials and technological ideas, from which the main geometry of the project can be discerned. The roadside façade divides vertically into three sections, visibly distinct in shape and materials. The two side sections - one clad in mineral red render, the other in larchwood - form a link to the adjacent buildings, while the projecting middle section lined in titanium zinc is what makes the building stand out as an urban landmark. The only feature uniting the three parts is the jutting concrete ‘box’ effect. The titanium-zinc-lined section has prominent horizontal lines and is supported on columns set right back to emphasize the sense of floating. The cladding is of pre-painted dark titanium zinc slats VM Zinc (Anthra Zinc ®) mounted on a supporting structure. This choice of material was partly dictated by looks and partly by the need to ensure that this portion of the façade was durable, being most exposed to weathering as it juts from the façade line with no system of shelter. Titanium zinc gives the overall cube shape a formal architectural rigour, while the dark Anthra Zinc® emphasizes the weight of the three projecting storeys and the effect of the overhang.Vm Zinc
Umicore Building Products Italia
Via Riccardo Lombardi, 19/16
I - 20153 Milano
Tel. +39 02 4799821
Fax +39 02 47998229www.vmzinc.it