La Forgiatura: Rivitalization of an industrial brown site | The Plan
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La Forgiatura: Rivitalization of an industrial brown site

Giuseppe Tortato | Milano Layout

La Forgiatura: Rivitalization of an industrial brown site
By Caterina Testa -
Schueco, Rheinzink, Guardian Glass have participated in the project

Starting with the Nineties, Western Europe became the scene of profound economic, social and cultural change. Industrial reconversion led to production being relocated to other countries, which in turn led to a re-thinking of how we conceive and use our cities.

In many cases, the task of giving a new lease of life to areas abandoned by heavy industry and in search of a new identity has fallen to the creative and cultural sector. At best, however, while opening up new promise for the future, reconversion has not wholly swept away all vestiges of the past.

The inner and metropolitan areas of Milan are scattered with industrial enclaves. Some cover large swathes; others are more intricately woven into the urban fabric. Many districts have been given a new image and role on the back of courageous real-estate projects that have turned former industrial buildings into lofts, art galleries, offices and creative workshops.

Realstep, the same developers who invested and oversaw the regeneration of via Tortona and via Savona, have now done likewise in a northwest section of Milan with the La Forgiatura project in an area not far from the Triennale and in the direction of the city’s Expo and new tradeshow grounds. Redolent with memory - La Forgiatura was Milan’s largest steel foundry dating back to the 19th century - the location is on Via Varesina, an historic artery leading out of Milan towards the Simplon border pass. Today it is a focal point of one of the city’s fastest developing districts. 

Memory and innovation are the touchstones of the new top-end brand and fashion village developed for the site by Giuseppe Tortato of architect firm Milano Layout. The programme entailed the refurbishment and spatial adaptation of some of the former industrial sheds along with a completely new building of eight storeys, two of which sunk into an artificial hill. The manmade mound serves the dual purpose of concealing an ample parking...

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