Tertiary Building U15 Milanofiori | The Plan
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Tertiary Building U15 Milanofiori

Cino Zucchi Architetti

Around 1850, Gilbert Scott dispensed his terse canon: buildings whose windows admitted an appropriate amount of light were not necessarily architecture, whereas buildings whose windows were either too small or too large at least revealed an attempt to produce architecture. Could this diktat issued a hundred and fifty years ago be a useful criterion for anyone trying to define what architecture is in the so-called digital era? Could it help to unravel the semantics of our times, or does this confusion rather stem from a cultural sea change in the very nature of built structures? Looking for over- or undersized windows might be a useful criterion for anyone driving out of Milan in search along the way of significant attempts to produce architecture. Once on the Via del Mare, our hypothetical traveller would first come across the astounding regimented array of gigantic skylights of the city’s tram depot designed by Vico Magistretti - who defined good architecture as a building capable of aging gracefully. The encounter might well stir a few questions in the mind of our traveller. Further down the highway to the east another apparition would loom into view: the new bastion - nicknamed the “aircraft carrier” - running parallel to the road and draped at regular intervals with distorted primary shapes marking out the road like milestones. Our traveller would probably be at risk of taking his eyes off the road to take another look in an attempt to grasp the artistic intent, or Kunstwollen, behind these elevations. Could it be that even in our digital times, architecture presupposes an element of theatrical panache or overstatement? The urban development under construction known as Milanofiori Nord would seem to confirm this thesis. There prevails an “aesthetic of disorder”, in the words of Luigi Pezzoli, director-in-charge of the vast urban project managed by the Brioschi group. Could this project be pointing the way on the difficult issue of how to tackle urban...

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