Barreca & La Varra in the ARIA team, winner of C40 Reinventing Cities for the Ex-Macello area in Milan

The “ARIA” project by lead partner Redo Sgr società benefit won the 2020/21 edition of C40’s international competition Reinventing Cities for the Ex-Macello area in Viale Molise, in the Calvairate area: Barreca & La Varra are in the Architecture and Urban Planning team with Snøhetta Oslo (lead architect), CZA Cino Zucchi Architetti, Stantec and Chapman Taylor Architetti, Mpartner and Fondazione Housing Sociale.

The announcement was made this morning in the Garden of the Triennale di Milano by Mayor Beppe Sala, Councillor Pierfrancesco Maran, the Head of Zero Carbon Development of C40 Hélène Chartier, the Director of Urban Planning of the City of Milan Simona Collarini, and the President of the Jury Giancarlo Mazzanti.


Lead partner of the proposal is Redo Sgr benefit company – with which Barreca & La Varra WON THE 2018/19 EDITION OF THE COMPETITION for the Scalo Greco/Breda area in Milan -, with IED Istituto Europeo di Design, CA Ventures, E. ON, Deltaecopolis, CCL, while the designers are the architectural firms Snøhetta Oslo, in the role of lead architect, Barreca & La Varra, Stantec, CZA Cino Zucchi Architetti for the IED campus, Chapman Taylor Architetti, Mpartner and the Social Housing Foundation, also a strategic partner for place making and community engagement. The various technical-economic design and energy innovation layers are developed by engineering companies and leading experts in sustainability and sustainable investment such as Prof. Mario Motta for the Milan Polytechnic Foundation, Prof. Marco Filippi, Prof. Stefano Mancuso for PNAT, Deloitte and MIC Mobility-in- Chain. For the development of the enabling digital infrastructure and smart solutions, the strategic partner is Planet Smart City. Team members dedicated to the introduction of new solutions in the areas of mobility, renewable energy, resilience, sustainable waste management, sociality and welfare, labour inclusion, culture, and circular economy are: GaiaGo, LifeGate, Cresme Ricerche, LAMA Società Cooperativa – Impresa Sociale, Fondazione Don Gino Rigoldi, Edoardo Tresoldi, ènostra, Amici di Edoardo, The FabLab, Festival della Scienza, Eatour, Electreon, Mare Culturale Urbani, Giacimenti Urbani.


Aria is a new neighbourhood in Milan, alive, teeming with activities capable of exploring new ways of learning, having fun, growing, living and working. It is also the most important social housing project in Europe, dedicated to the settlement of the younger generations, of families, a real housing service for the neighbourhood and the city that will create over 1200 new flats, the vast majority rented at subsidized rates.

Thanks to the new international Campus IED – Istituto Europeo di Design, which with its 30,000 square metres for 4,500 students and a student residence for 600 places will be located inside the two striking northern pavilions of the former slaughterhouse, Aria is also a neighbourhood that will immediately attract young people and students, who will also find here a rich fabric of work, training and service opportunities, including a lively cultural scene.

The new Istituto Europeo di Design university, in fact, together with the POD, the new Science&Art district dedicated to the dissemination of STE “A “M (science, technology, engineering, ART and mathematics) skills and the skills of the future, will enliven the lives of citizens with a schedule of initiatives and temporary uses dedicated to culture, creativity and solidarity, bringing together cultural proposals of an international nature with the enhancement of lively and original experiences carried out by the many realities of the territory. Students and residents will be the city makers who will make Aria a new urban destination: places of work, production and use of services: sustainable living based on inclusive and innovative experiences of cohabitation and collaborative temporary uses.

The renovation of historic buildings goes far beyond the requirements of the Superintendency and creates a place based on heritage and the circular economy of the built environment. Aria is an act of urban transformation that metabolizes the history and morphology of the site, breaking down and reassembling the old tunnels and hangars, warehouses and production lines; a project that confronts an urban fact so stratified and unique as to make it almost impossible to conceive of a building, an open space, or an infrastructure as an object unrelated to others.

New functions, services, offices, artisan workshops, fab-labs, coworking, training spaces dedicated to professional start-ups and retail will find their place in 30,000 square metres together with many Air Factories, a peculiar element of the project, which will serve to purify the interior spaces, filtering out atmospheric contaminants thanks to plants and soil. These spaces will be meeting places for local associations, dedicated spaces for building an open, safe and supportive relational fabric for both the new inhabitants and those living in the Molise-Calvairate, Ortomercato and Porta Vittoria neighbourhoods.

Aria will be the first Carbon Negative Area in Milan thanks to a high-efficiency, full-electric supply of heating and cooling energy to the entire district using innovative ectogrid™ technology and photovoltaics from the Renewable Energy Communities which, by producing more renewable electricity than the district consumes, will subtract CO2eq from the emissions balance of the rest of the city. Aria will certify the buildings with LEED Gold, the master plan with LEED for Cities & Communities and will assess the integrated intelligent solutions with ReSMART Index.

render credits: Wolf Visualizing Architecture | photo credits: Comune di Milano