Social housing in Via Antegnati

"5 SQUARE": an innovative social housing program regenerates five abandoned buildings on the edge of the South Agricultural Park

The real estate object of intervention is located in the southern suburbs of Milan, in the Vigentino district, where the South Agricultural Park goes deep into urbanization.

The area is characterized by residential, productive and commercial settlements; it extends between via Antegnati, via Gabussi and via Vincenzo Amidani, and has several areas dedicated to green areas. The five existing courtyard buildings, built in the 90s with productive and tertiary use, have variable heights between the 3 and 4 above-ground floors, and a common basement to the whole complex. Until the year 2000 they were in a perfect state of preservation, completed and functional to be used, but this never happened. The degradation started in 2011 when the works started by the then property were interrupted: the buildings were completely abandoned and defaced, as well as illegally occupied with consequent problems of public safety.

The project envisages the re-functionalization of the five buildings in order to build around 500 dwellings destined to a subsidized concessionary residence for sale and lease, as well as a consulting room, a clinic, urban residential services, and an average sales area. The first two buildings, starting from the south, will be used for sale, with around 190 apartments of different sizes, including one-room, two-room, three-room and four-room apartments, some of which are located on the ground floor and have private gardens; the remaining three buildings, on the other hand, will provide around 300 rented accommodation. The design mainly concerned: the connection and the cross-usability between the buildings and the diversification of the functions on the ground floor, the organization of a sequence of open and closed courts and the relationship between the buildings and the green system, the rethinking of the external envelope and a rationalization of the volumes placed on the roof.

Any existing non-structural element is removed to bring the complex of the 5 buildings back to the state of structural skeletons only. The residual volume available in the complex makes it possible to create new surfaces, therefore the main elevation on Via Antegnati is standardized, bringing all five buildings to have five floors above ground on this front, but of reduced dimensions for the first two buildings from the South.

The ground floor of the building complex, consisting of a set of private spaces and public spaces, represents a large unified urban environment, characterized by spaces for meeting, relaxation, play and sport. In particular, in the first two buildings to the south there are apartments with private gardens of different sizes, and in the second services such as a multipurpose room, a gym and a bar. In the third building, a center of gravity with respect to the complex, there will be a covered market with small commercial units of different sizes with open squares and adjacent play areas. In the fourth, services to the person such as a family advice bureau and a clinic; in the fifth housing for rent and a common area with kitchen, toilets, storage and play area for the little ones.

The external arrangements are designed in harmony with the functions at the foot of the buildings, and in particular starting from building 2 there is a path that winds along the whole complex, characterized by outdoor dining areas, play areas, seats and areas intended for greenery, and spaces for work out, such as the race track to the east of the area. In the north and south, it was decided to intensify the green system to guarantee greater tranquility and privacy: a dense system of winding flowerbeds equipped with seating systems at the edges follow organic forms in order to enhance the rigor of existing structures, underlined by the new grill placed on the façade. Along the perimeter of the lot and in the lawn portion in the south-east area, the rural elms shield the area to the outside. The courts between one building and the other are differentiated by the inserted essences: starting from the south, in the first there are field elms, in the second ash and lime trees, in the third maples and cherry trees, and finally some small, particular and renowned flours their longevity.

The perception of buildings takes place at two speeds: the more sustained perception via car via Ferrari, and the slower perception of walking within the complex. It is based on what has been worked on the architectural language and on the volumes: towards the outside the gutter line has been standardized to give a more orderly and homogeneous image of the different blocks, varying it instead between the buildings and within the short. Outside, a new modular grid composed of two systems is superimposed on the existing facade: that of the parapets, and that of the roller blinds mounted opposite to form a “butterfly” system that returns, for the portion of the façade facing south west , a vibrated and iridescent articulated effect depending on the hours of the day and the seasons. The last element that distinguishes the architectural proposal and defines the character of the buildings is represented by the color: light for the grid and the curtains, and darker for the bottom of the loggias. The walls of the inner courtyards are colored differently than the different sunlight that strikes them during the day.

Construction started in the autumn of 2019 and was completed in the spring of 2022.

Social housing in Via Antegnati