Renovation of existing structures
The context is provided by a formerly abandoned industrial space in Milan that was renovated. The setting is expected to cure the nostalgia for things past by establishing a New York-style workroom+residence for a homesick New Yorker mesmerized by the Naviglio Milanese, the only surviving body of water in a city once made livable by watery.
The global dweller is confused by the number of images that keep assaulting the mind: events, people, film frames, places experienced during a peripatetic life. The global dweller is constantly dealing with a visual and mental landscape that is, at best, unstable, if not disturbed. Some live on one continent while yearning fro another, a condition that may prove untenable. Some certainties, of some kind, are needed.
Water was once a main feature of Milan's urban and mental landscape. The fascist regime annihilated this. he nostalgia for what has been lost is magnified by the presence of an abandoned water tank and the proximity to the channel. All project's decisions stem from this fact. The project exploits the double height of an abandoned industrial space by separating uses: a work room on the lower level; living quarters in eh mezzanine above. The two areas are intertwined, and a number of mutual views are enhanced by a number of devices, glass panels included.
The Materials and the technology and, generally speaking, all the design features hark back to the American landscape and its myths, in an attempt to recreate the sense of being in a New York City Soho loft.
Special attention was given to the many icons of the visual landscape of American sport fans: a basketball hoop, a sofa shaped like a baseball glove, a fireman's pole, an American flag, all of which are put together to form a kind of artificial Yankee landscape. The fireman's pole makes it possible to plunge directly from the bedroom to the conference table.
The section reflect the functional division: private quarters are separated by the working quarters via a mezzanine. The mezzanine features one single material for the floor: Canadian cedar 3 inches thick, 5 inches wide, sever foot long. The wood board are irregular and casually places but rest on highly geometric steel frame painted in white. While providing the support, the steel frame of the mezzanine duplicates some of the ground floor area in selected instants.
ClientHARVARD CLUB OF ITALY
Gross Floor Area (mq)360
Design teamPAOLO CONRAD BERCAH
ConsultantsERREGI, METIS LIGHTING, DALEFE ENGINERING, DI GI ERRE TRE
Photo Creditsalberto mucciaccia
c-b-a stands for context of bare architecture, which means that we aim to find the bare life of architectural form, namely a form stripped of the prevailing rhetoric of the day. Since its inception c-b-a has been involved with the design of a number of building types, ranging from public library to museum, school complexes and stadium, with the majority of the executed work revolving around the production of office buildings and housing. As of late, c-b-a has been increasingly involved in a number of activities engaging with the city of Berlin. These include the design a number of contemporary housing complexes in Berlin (in partnership with the leading Italian company in the construction of wood technology) that acknowledge the new social and living conditions (like the increasing atomization of the traditional family structure) or the a new model of living/working units that may provide a provisional solution to the on-going refugee emergency.