PICHI PARK

Park Associati’s  new residential building in Milan is situated in the Navigli district, near to the New Academy of Fine Arts, (NABA).
Integrating within the great Milanese living culture that focuses on the customs and habits of its citizens-inhabitants, the Pichi Park project faces outward, towards the city’s public life, thanks to an architectural hallmark that relinquishes reckless iconicity in favour of a subtler, almost anonymous effect, that is nonetheless always motivated and never superficial, and worthy of being discovered.

INFO

Location
Via Pichi 12, Milano

Client
Gruppo Brioschi Sviluppo Immobiliare

Competition: 2014
Realization: ongoing

Area
3.000 sqm

Professional Services
Concept
Architectural project

Design team
Filippo Pagliani, Michele Rossi
Alessandro Rossi (Project Leader), Andrea Riva, Marinella Ferrari, Lorenzo Merloni, Sharon Ambrosio, Marco Vitalini, Antonio Cinquegrana, Cristina Tudela Molino, Alexia Caccavella, Andrea Dalpasso, Fabio Calciati (Render), Mario Frusca (Render)

Spreading out to the borders of the newly-created complex of Bocconi University, the area includes the two Navigli canals and is one of the most important zone of concern of the urban planning drawn up by the new Milan Regional Planning (PGT) and, as such, is subject to territorial protection restrictions and landscape enhancement. In addition, this neighbourhood has always been a hotspot for the activities of the creative and handicraft sector, featuring an extensive network of bars and restaurants that make it one of the liveliest places of the city’s nightlife. While satisfying contemporary housing needs, this seemingly straightforward project gives rise to some complexity. Originally designed for students and young professionals living in the areas surrounding the universities, the project subsequently morphed into its final version as a residential complex open to broader requirements.

The complex develops over three floors above a pre-existing underground car park that will be preserved. The building’s structure ‘rests’ on the garage’s pillars and this element partly determines the architectural concept. Dry construction techniques were in fact studied for its realisation and materials that create both lightness and strength — such as steel — were employed. Both the structure and the façade of the complex take inspiration from the eclectic style of the surrounding neighbourhood. This area has always been a hotspot for the activities of the creative and handicraft sector, featuring an extensive network of bars and restaurants that make it one of the liveliest places of the city’s nightlife.

Accommodating the areas for communal living, the ground floor is highlighted by a basement-fence of a contrasting colour with respect to the light hue of the façade, which still guarantees full visual permeability. Following the same orientation of the other buildings of the block, the complex is arranged around a green courtyard, which opens onto the road but is protected by the fence. The large hackberry at its centre becomes a distinguishing feature, a declaration, a pleasant image for those looking onto the garden and the street from the windows and balconies.

The open courtyard is one of the elements on which the project’s concept is based — a reference to the courtyards and urban gardens that in Milan are frequently found beyond the threshold, a discreet inner presence and a view for the few. Here the courtyard opens up instead to public life, acting as a filter between individual living and communal urban life.
The open courtyard is one of the elements on which the project’s concept is based — a reference to the courtyards and urban gardens that in Milan are frequently found beyond the threshold, a discreet inner presence and a view for the few. Here the courtyard opens up instead to public life, acting as a filter between individual living and communal urban life.

Carved out from the simple, geometric volumes of the façade, the spaces for the balconies create an irregular yet harmonious succession of full and empty spaces, openings and blind spots. The hollowed-out balconies were coated using an innovative material that recalls klinker — another tribute to the tradition of façades entirely clad in this material that is so frequent in Milan that almost every street offers an example. The soft aqua green hue of the hollowed-out spaces is the only subtle touch of colour that is seemingly at odds with the other façades of the neighbourhood. A thorough study of the buildings in this area resulted in a marked eclecticism that was difficult to draw inspiration from. The decision to add a further typology by introducing white as the colour that is made up of, is similar to and takes inspiration from all the other colours, was in fact a tribute to this diversity and a way of encompassing it within a single sign. The clear, bright, monochromatic façade is the result of a combination of three shades of white with different degrees of reflection.

The one-, two- and three-room apartments can accommodate a diversified community. As well as paying particular attention to its diverse inhabitants — either individuals or groups —, the project also focused on age- and ability-related needs. The ‘design for all’ concept is interpreted as communal areas, flats and garden accessible to everybody.

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