New Cascina Merlata development in Milan could be the future of social housing
The latest social housing development designed by Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel brings affordability to Milan while improving livability on the city’s outskirts
International architecture and design firm Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel (ACPV) unveils its latest social housing complex in the Cascina Merlata district of Milan. The Cascina Merlata Lot R7/2 project is part of an ensemble of residential buildings designed by some of the most well-known Italian architects, and follows the Cascina Merlata masterplan conceived by ACPV in 2011. The new buildings have obtained a class A rating thanks to their energy-efficient design and low-energy impact. The building is expected to open for residents in March 2021.
Located just a stone’s throw from the Fiera Milano grounds renowned for the annual Salone del Mobile furniture fair and the MIND Milano Innovation District (ex-Expo Milan area), Cascina Merlata Lot R7/2 is the latest addition to the new residential settlement on the outer edge of the city. The area’s masterplan aims to improve livability within the urban fabric of Milan by offering essential services – such as shops, schools and transportation – within a walking distance of 15 minutes for residents. The plan also features multiple parks, public spaces, pedestrian and bike paths to enhance the city’s social and environmental sustainability.
“The goal here is to foster a sense of community and belonging while also innovating the way we design residential buildings,” says architect Antonio Citterio, co-founder of architecture and design firm ACPV. "The masterplan and architectural guidelines for Cascina Merlata play a crucial role in ensuring that the new residents feel at home and have access to all the services they need.”
The Cascina Merlata Lot R7/2 project integrates two new residential buildings between Via Daimler and Via Pier Paolo Pasolini, covering a floor area of 12,600 sqm. The main material used for the residential complex is porcelain stoneware. The chromatic variations of the design, together with the sequence of full and empty spaces guarantee a balanced design solution. The buildings’ ground floors interact with the surroundings by seamlessly integrating entrance halls and retail spaces, and they face a large communal garden. Overlooking Via Pier Paolo Pasolini, one of the buildings is a 10-story volume that aligns with the design of the adjacent buildings with its upper four floors set back 3 meters. The other development is made up of two volumes connected by a single core: the southern portion stretches across 17 floors, while the tallest portion to the north has 25 floors above ground. The roof of the residential complex is designed as a garden that will be visible from the street level.
“The new development advances the idea of regenerating Milan as a polycentric city. Cascina Merlata is a newly well-served area of the city where people can reach everything they need for their daily life within a 15-minute walk or ride,” says architect Patricia Viel, co-founder of Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel.
“The completion of Cascina Merlata Lot R7/2 this spring will mark a major milestone in the long-standing collaboration with our client Città Contemporanea. Almost like a city within the city, this residential complex provides new alternatives for people who want to access affordable housing,” says Lorenzo Laura, architect and project director at Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel, who has been following all phases of the project design by ACPV.
The new residential building complex was designed and coordinated using BIM (Building Information Modelling) digital design tools. Cascina Merlata Lot R7/2 is a virtuous example of BIM management by both the design team and the client, who oversaw the progress of the production using BIM technology. The March 2021 completion of this second phase of development designed by Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel will be soon followed by Lot R7/3 (expected to be delivered in 2024), by Lot R5/4 (expected to be delivered in 2023), and by Lot R5/1.
CREDITS Cascina Merlata Lot R7/2 is a project by Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel for Città Contemporanea – CMB.
ACPV team: Antonio Citterio, Patricia Viel, with Lorenzo Laura, and Francesco Masala, Daniele Raimondi, Mattia Cattaneo, Claudio Vittori Antisari, Andrea De Cet.