architect: Studio Elementare
location: Milan, Italy
The project focuses on an area in the middle of the former area of the Carlo Erba plant, which is currently being developed and upgraded. The project area is central both from a physical and strategic point of view. The longer side of the elongated rectangle of land is located alongside the new public street that is part of the project. The goal, in terms of town planning, has from the start been to create a synergy between the elements: vehicle traffic on the one side, and a green strip where pleasant pedestrian paths and pavilions for cafes catering to the offices in the neighbourhood may be designed. We have sought to guarantee, on the one side, the visibility of the pavilion from Via Imbonati, as requested by the eventual operator, and on the other the continuity of the pedestrian routes that, starting from the corner between Via Imbonati and Via Bracco, crosses the area diagonally, passing by the office complex, the Food Park and the new public street, arriving at the public park and the adjacent Theatre and Museum of Marionettes and Puppets. There are two pavilions, a smaller one which overlooks Via Imbonati and may be reached directly from this street, which will house a pizzeria and bar, and another central one which will feature a restaurant. The two pavilions are connected, both by a basement containing systems and facilities, and a shelter which continues to the west of the restaurant pavilion, connecting it to Via Crespi. The project area is the only part of the renovation of the former Carlo Erba plant where there will be no underground parking areas. This allows us to envisage a true “urban forest“ on the elongated rectangle comprising the project. Our idea of equipped green area is based on the logic of natural environments, or a desire to recreate the landscape which may, incredible as it may seem, have been here before the Carlo Erba plant, and before the farmlands that preceded it; a true forest as found in the Lombard flatlands.