Green Opificio - Milan

A gasometer-style living space

A disused hotel remodelling project in Milan has created a multifunctional residential complex with a neo-industrial aesthetic
Benedetto Marzullo
Ginevra Colnaghi
Christian Fenouil (Place Milano) + Marco Almasio (3A Architetti associati)

„Where once there was grass there is now a city“: the words of a famous sixties Italian pop song by Adriano Celentano called „Il ragazzo della via Gluck“ seem particularly appropriate to the Bovisa neighbourhood in the north-west suburbs of Milan. The project, coordinated by architects Christian Fenouil from Place Milano and Marco Almasio from 3A Architetti associati, is located in one of the city’s suburbs to have seen the most extensive redevelopment work since the construction of the new Milan Polytechnic campus in the first half of the 1990s. It’s like stepping into a painting by Sironi, or immersing oneself in the monumental forms of urban suburbs, industrial archaeology or a mutant factory. It is no coincidence that the project was called Green Opificio („Green Factory“), a post-industrial space consisting of 5,000 square metres of residential building and 3,500 square metres of green open areas. It exploits the industrial aesthetic of metal and concrete but without sacrificing the appeal of greenery, a natural element that is both decorative and at the same time an integral part of the residential complex. The construction of new university campuses (Bicocca and IULM, along with Bovisa) has transformed Milan into a polycentric city and radically altered the nature of the landscape. „New inhabitants, new services and new lifestyles are prompting widespread redevelopment,“ explain the architects. „Due to these changes, it has become a popular place for designers, opening up spaces for interaction between the arts. Green Opificio adopts a ‘social contact design‘ approach that embraces a new way of living in Milan, achieved by taking an old hotel and transforming it into a residence that encourages socialisation and a strong sense of community.“ The project involved converting an incomplete and disused old hotel into a multifunctional metropolitan building. „We focused not just on the design of the residences, which come in a range of sizes for different needs, but also common areas such as a children’s play room, a fitness zone and a multipurpose space that can be used for recreational activities and above all as an incubator space for freelancers and small startups. Like an exercise in industrial archaeology, it adopts contemporary forms while projecting an industrial aesthetic of metal and concrete. The most striking architectural feature is the corner between the residential blocks, a kind of portal enclosing the staircase that joins together the entire building and acts as the central hub of the project. It is meticulously designed: „The spiral staircase was conceived not just as a vertical connecting system but as an architectural object in its own right,“ continued the architects. „Light plays a very important role in this project, as evidenced by the fact that the lobby roof is made entirely of glass and steel. Colours were used in such a way as to accentuate the building’s industrial nature, combining metal and concrete tones with anthracite grey. The balcony details are rust coloured in a reference to Corten steel. A small number of essential materials evoking the site’s industrial past were chosen for the project: exposed concrete, steel and metal sheet with wood inserts along the façades.“ Panaria Ceramica contributed to the project by supplying the building’s exterior surface cladding materials and enhancing its metropolitan character. In particular, for the exterior claddings the architects chose the Zero.3 Urbanature concrete-effect ultra-thin ceramic panel collection with its combination of refined aesthetics and high performance, opting in particular for the Portland 100×100 cm version with an industrial character and metropolitan, minimalist spirit. Due to its low weight, large size and versatility of use, Urbanature 0.3 is ideal as a wall covering material. The terrace pavings are instead clad with the Chic Wood timber-effect collection chosen in a Coco chestnut colour and a 20×120 cm size. The essential elegance of wood brings style and warmth to the project, promoting a sense of community and good living even in a big city.

Panaria Ceramica, Urbanature 0.3
porcelain stoneware
100x100 cm
Technische Eigenschaften
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): 0,1 %
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): LA, HA
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): 175 mm3
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): 50 N/mm2
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R9
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): compliant
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): compliant
Zertifizierungen und Auszeichnungen
ISO 14001
Projektinformationen anfordern > Produktgalerie >