Social housing Ex-Boero
Public and private spaces: the rewriting of a social housing complex starts from the ground floor.
architectural design (schematic. final, construction), artistic direction - 2016 / ongoing
The former Boero area in the Molassana district of Genoa has hosted the eponymous paint factory since the 1950s, and following the disposal of the plant, the company has started to enhance the site by proposing an Operational Urban Project that includes, in addition to residential use, a shopping center in which to transfer to existing shops in the neighborhood, a 10,000 square meter urban park, meeting spaces including an auditorium and a library, and parking lots.
The Barreca & La Varra studio presented some variations to the building permits already issued, generally proposing the adaptation of the existing project, planned for free housing, to a social housing project. But the general configuration, consisting of two 11-storey central-plan buildings and two 4-storey in-line buildings placed around a central public green area remains unchanged. The transition from public space to the “community” space is gradual, the open spaces are connected and permeable, the garden belonging to the residence is a space open to the neighborhood. Public functions and commercial spaces ensure safety and liveliness in the spaces of the neighborhood. In particular, the internal distribution of housing has been modified, to create cuts of different types, with particular preference for small and medium size; the loggias have been replaced with balconies of different sizes, depending on the types and interior spaces; in some cases the arcaded spaces on the ground floor and the walkways take on a different shape. The project has a total of 170 accommodations, of which 36 are one-room apartments, 20 are two-room apartments and 114 are three-room apartments, for a total residential area of approximately 12,000 square meters. In the bodies in line, the project foresees 32 residences distributed on 4 floors over the ground floor, distributed by two staircases. The apartments are of three types of the size of about 32 square meters for the studios, 65-70 square meters for the three-room apartments and 80 square meters for the four-room apartments. The towers have 53 residences, with 5 units per floor level and an attic floor with 3 units. The apartments in the type plans are of three types of the size of about 32 square meters for the one-room apartments, 55-65 square meters for the medium-small three-room apartments and 75 square meters for the medium-large three-room apartments. Some facades of the complex, in particular those facing the external context, present frames and take up the design of the facades of the previous project, characterized by loggias and organized on a square module. The frames are made with box-shaped profiles that anchor directly to the balconies and the facade. The different size and arrangement of the balconies on the different floors, together with the use of different materials for the parapets, some in masonry (or with perforated sheet panels if there are frames) and in a railing, create a particular dynamic effect inside a more regular and rational general design. The complex is equipped with an underground appurtenant garage, distributed over two floors, which guarantees a place for each residential unit. On the ground floor of the building in a central position in the area there is a nursery that includes the reception of 60 children.