Living in Milan’s Maggiolina neighbourhood
Maria Giulia Zunino
The Milanese recall the Maggiolina neighbourhood for the Journalists’ Village and architects for Luigi Figini’s rationalist house on stilts, the igloo houses designed by Mario Cavallè in 1946 and Gigi Caccia Dominioni’s apartment building in Piazza Carbonari. The innovative urban regeneration project for the run-down area occupied by the former printworks of the newspaper Il Giorno has now added a new feature of interest just a 15-minute bike ride from Piazza Gae Aulenti.
The developer, Abitare In, consists of «a group of young people whose vision derives from the unusual backgrounds of the two founding partners, one from the world of consulting, the other from the world of IT,» explains Michele Brunello, who co-founded the practice Donstop architettura with Marco Brega in 2011.
«They approached us in 2016, asking for a project that would give the client the maximum scope for customisation right up to the very last moment. In architecture, the ability to make changes through to the end of a project requires constant communication with the developer and the client, a meticulous choice of construction and plant technologies (including a steel structure, drywall technology, ceiling and floor systems to create a flexible floor plan), and real-time BIM design [Building Information Modelling generates a dynamic, interdisciplinary and shared digital information model that stores information on the building’s entire life cycle, Ed.]. We love challenges, use the BIM method and are keen to innovate… so we got involved,» continues Brunello, co-founder of SBA China and a former partner at the practice Stefano Boeri Architetti, where Marco Brega worked as design coordinator and technical director.
Set in over 5,000 square metres of grounds, the complex consists of 124 apartments in three buildings. The third, smaller volume will be built at a later date. The Maggiolina Gardens, an in-line building created from the chequerboard-like arrangement of the individual volumes, and the Sky Tower — 15 residential floors plus the double-height space of the entrance hall and common services — are already partly inhabited.
By altering the dimensions and functions of the interior spaces, in many cases incorporating loggias, each flat has its own façade, so the frontage of the tower as a whole derives from the combination of portions that differ from one floor to another and even within the same level.
It might sound chaotic, but it could hardly be less so. It is this new feature that gives the building its distinctive and recognisable personality.
The pattern of the 16 white stringcourses, cantilevered balconies free from corner columns, as well as the use of thin laminated porcelain stoneware slabs from the Kerlite 5plus Exedra collection chosen in the Pulpis version reminiscent of marble veining, transform this variation in shape into a positive compositional and aesthetic characteristic of the tower. Thin, high-performance and large in size, Kerlite slabs from Cotto d’Este (the company was also chosen as a project partner for the development of the modular façade technology, including cladding fixing and safety) help to maintain a sense of harmony with the surroundings.
Cotto d'Este, Kerlite5plus Exedra e Pulpis
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): conforme
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): Classe A
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): conforme
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): conforme
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): conforme
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): >- 6.000 PSI - 50 N/mm2
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): conforme
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): conforme
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): conforme