The context of this project is provided by a formerly abandoned industrial space in Milan that has recently turned into a destination where social activities of various kinds are taking place. The industrial setting was selected because it was expected to cure the nostalgia for things past for a homesick New York family living on the Naviglio Milanese, the only surviving body of water in a city once made livable by water canals. Water was once a main feature of Milan's urban landscape. The nostalgia for what has been lost is magnified by the presence of an abandoned water tank and the proximity to the channel. All project decisions stem from this consideration and attempt to establishing the atmosphere of a Soho-style iron cast workroom + residence. The project interacts with the industrial bones in a number of fashions. It exploits the
generous height of an abandoned industrial space and interacts with it by designing a number of clearly identified areas of activity. Kitchen, dining area, living room , gym and working areas are located at the lower level. Bathrooms, and sleeping rooms are to be found at the upper level/mezzanine. They both feature cork-paneling on the wall that make them cozier. Cork paneling is also to be found on the long, east west wall delimiting the large downstairs room for the purposes of pinning working materials on them. The two areas are physically separated yet visually intertwined, and their mutual views are enhanced by glass panels. The materials as well as the technology selected and all the design features hark back to the American landscape and its myths, in an attempt to recreate the sense of being in New York City while being, in fact,
in Milan. Special attention is given to the many popular icons of the visual landscape of the 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 landscape for the displaced Yankee family. The fireman's pole makes it possible to plunge directly from the bedroom to the dining table, providing an unexpected level of sudden drama/fun. A white painted steel frame provides the support to a continuous layout of cedar strips for the mezzanine. The mezzanine duplicates a t shape selection of the ground floor area creating room for pictorial enjoyment of the space. Light rains from above via six generous and operable skylight shaded by electric shades. The loft is currently been used on the cover of the airbnb app on both apple and Android platform
Gross Floor Area (mq)330
Design team conrad-bercah, stefano bacciocchi, petar stelkic, alberto clerici
Main ContractorVago Forniture
ConsultantsMarinella Patetta, Flavio Ranica
Photo CreditsEva Pieri
Curriculum studio / partecipantec-b-a is an acronym that stands for context of bare architecture, which means that the practice aims to find the bare life of architectural form, namely a form stripped of the prevailing rhetoric of the day. Since 2013 c-b-a has been engaged with Berlin both at a macro and micro scale. These include the design a number of contemporary housing complexes that may 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. At the macro level, the city of Berlin has been the subject of a prolonged investigation in the definition of a new model for urban growth identified in an e-book called Dörfer-großstadt, Tactical Town-lines for the Third Millennium, which received the 2015, Merit Award, THE PLAN Best Paper 2015.
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