Faravelli 14, a filter between the city and domestic intimacy
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Faravelli 14, a filter between the city and domestic intimacy

A project that rehabilitates an industrial building in the Portello neighborhood of Milan leaves room for customization by future residents

Asti Architetti

Faravelli 14, a filter between the city and domestic intimacy
By Editorial Staff -
Marazzi has participated in the project

“Apartments in Milan are increasingly conceived as shelters, like nests. We thought of a system of successive layers of façades that soften the introduction from the city to the apartment, making a true cocoon,” stated Paolo Asti, founder of Asti Architetti, in describing the concept for the renovation of the residential building located between via Faravelli and via Val Vigezzo, in the heart of the Portello neighborhood in northwest Milan. Developments in infrastructure, residential offerings, and services have changed the face of this urban area characterized by a recent industrial past, making it one of the images of the new Milan. The building involved in the project has an industrial tradition dating back to the 1940s, with subsequent renovations and expansions. The first of these occurred in 1967, and the last one, in the beginning of the 1990s, changed the use of the building into offices. There are two distinct buildings in the complex: an L-shaped one at the corner on the street, and a second one inside the courtyard, adhering to the longer side of the first building and closing the complex around a courtyard.

The compositional principle guiding the firm’s projects can be identified in the interpretation of the architecture and the character of the neighborhood, seeking to strengthen the relationship with the street and with the nearby CityLife even more. The building, which has six floors above ground and two basements, was completely transformed with a façade that mediates between the private context of the complex and the public one of the neighborhood. 

On the exterior, the relationship with the street, including the permeability between the street and the inner courtyard, has been reinforced by the building’s attachment to the ground, characterized by large, glazed portions. On the upper levels, the extensive use of transparent surfaces has been reintroduced, set within a regular and geometric mesh of beams and pillars, which are animated by a system of sliding shutters that create plays of solids and voids. Closing out the layered system of the envelop is a white grid, which constitutes the last layer of the façade. A light element with a strong architectural character, it creates a volumetric illusion, amplifying the contour of the architecture.

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Natural light and personalization 

Edificio residenziale Faravelli 14, Asti Architetti ©Stefano Gusmeroli, courtesy of Asti Architetti

“Light is one of the elements I was asked to emphasize, meaning natural light: all the apartments were organized differently in order to enjoy natural lighting to the fullest, in the logic that the relationship with the surroundings would be as happy as possible,” concludes Paolo Asti.

Another element that guided the building’s transformation project was to give the residential units large quantities of natural light: the large windows that mark the façades are a device by which the architects flooded the apartments with light. These are characterized by different square footage, ranging from 40 square meters to 195 square meters. In total there are 71 apartments, designed with care and “humanity”, leaving ample room for future residents to personalize the environments.


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Location: Milan, Italy
Architects: Asti Architetti
Build up area: 5,560 m2

Suppliers: Marazzi

Photography by Matteo Cirenei and Stefano Gusmeroli courtesy of Asti Architetti

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