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Residential Building in Milan

ARKPABI - Giorgio Palù e Michele Bianchi architetti

Residential Building in Milan
By Francesco Pagliari -

Location: one of Milan’s older peripheral neighbourhoods, an ideal setting therefore for innovative architecture and better class housing projects. The brief was to provide vertically stacked villas and gardens, a key theme of modern urban architecture. The elegant, even stark, simplicity of line is soften by an ethereal quality afforded by the materials used to compose a richly variegated sequence of façades. The asymmetrical openings and spans in the metal frame are key features of this striking complex.
Glazed volumes in primary colours stand out from the façade, suggesting new ways for architecture to combine with nature. The dwelling units themselves differ from floor to floor. The living areas are arranged in a linear block in the centre of the structure while the glazed volumes facing the road become covered terraces, winter gardens or penthouse glasshouse cubes. Horizontal lines melt away as daylight gives way to night and natural luminance to artificial illumination. The volumes of this architecture seem to dissolve and return with the ebb and flow of light. We are before a whole new way of thinking the urban landscape.
It is a landscape shaped by an architecture itself informed by a freedom of rhythm and composition, that seems to place the main and rear façades on the same plane, juxtaposing materials, exploiting airy transparencies and creating a counterpoint between structural solidity and light. The microperforated burnished brass grills “permeate” the main façade to mingle with the terraces, articulating the asymmetrical cadence of open and closed volumes created by the motorized protective structures.
Everything is a play of contrasts and blends: the rear façade is anchored to the vertical stairs, the microperforated sheet lending a transparency in which the rotational movement of the stairs is offset by the structural grid of the balcony frames. Everything contrives to provide a sense of lightness and airiness: the curtain wall of...

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