Social housing Sarpi-Bramante

A social housing intervention in Sarpi district: historical facades conceal habitable courtyards permeable to the city

Via Sarpi is unique. Its is the story of a piece of Milan – of an ancient Milanese suburb – that takes on a central role in the internationalization of the city since the beginning of the twentieth century. In this street there is a Milanese essence, the extreme density, the capillary presence of stores, the road section where different flows coexist, the anonymous and current character of the architecture of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, which Sarpi has miraculously safeguarded even in the face of the fact that it has been the scene of incredible innovations: the presence of commerce and ethnically connoted crafts, the pedestrianization of recent years and the maintenance of a character of historical living.

The intervention of total renovation of the block between Sarpi, Bramante and Niccolini streets, tends to assume this uniqueness in its main declinations and to outline a new future perspective while maintaining the salient features. First of all, the extreme density, typical of Milanese villages but more accentuated than elsewhere in via Sarpi. Secondly, the variety of housing, which has seen, among the Milanese suburbs, Sarpi as an element of “resistance” with gentrification processes that, although there have been, have not changed the general character of the neighborhood. Thirdly, the strong integration with commerce that, in this case, is even more driven by the presence of common and commercial spaces.

The intervention foresees the realization of 200 apartments, which, according to the will of Fondo Immobiliare Ca’ Granda, will be in social housing: in fact, the PGT had not destined it for this purpose. The architectural project consists in the preservation of the existing facade on via Sarpi, via Niccolini and via Bramante, the demolition and reconstruction of the buildings on the street with the recovery of the attics, and the redefinition of the internal courts through the demolition of the three existing buildings that are replaced by two completely new buildings perpendicular to via Sarpi.

The three resulting new courtyards (Corte Sarpi, Corte Niccolini, Corte Bramante) therefore constitute the open space of the block, the basis of its openness and relationship with the city, and have different characteristics: while Corte Sarpi is open to the public (with a café with a terrace, spaces for makers lab and social manager), Corte Niccolini and Corte Bramante have a more domestic character, they are substantially dedicated to apartment blocks and their services. This difference in the public and collective character of the courtyards is a significant reinterpretation of the character of Milanese courtyards, often built in series, often characterised by a gradual ‘opening’ to the outside. Towards the street, on the other hand, the neighbourhood’s characteristic commercial character is preserved through neighbourhood shops and a medium-sized sales area. The flats will be served by a two-storey underground car park. The development will also house the first milanese Casa Ronald of the Ronald Mc Donald Children’s Foundation.

Construction is scheduled to start in the first quarter of 2023 and is estimated to last three years.

Social housing Sarpi-Bramante