The project calls for the construction of a complex of 3 residential buildings in the area north of the Masterplan of Cascina Merlata to be used as an Expo Village in the first phase, and then to be converted into subsidized housing. The project stems from a complex operation of refinement of forms and volumes, developed in collaboration with other designers who have been called upon to work within this same lot, in order to coordinate and combine the various volumes required.

The architectural concept stems from the principle that quality living is strongly influenced by the quality of public and / or private space in the surroundings. Therefore, the buildings in the proposal, though situated in a context of strong architectural density, express a degree of complexity and define an urban landscape made up of solids and voids, volumes of different heights, of transparency and opacity, colours and shades . The buildings are organized around a central space, the signature space of the new complex, and are organized as a configuration of three towers, sloping upward, tapering at the upper floors like granite blocks. The volumes have regular but faceted shapes, materially uniform but varied in color and in the refraction of light.

The tiered system allows light to penetrate the central space and lower levels, opening views and perspectives and ensuring large sized terraces. To this end, a solar power  analysis was conducted, evaluating the number of hours of direct sunlight per day on each surface: based on these variables, particular attention was paid to the orientation and size of transparent façade surfaces to optimize daylighting in each of the interiors.

The system of terraced floors determines a different configuration of apartments on each level.  Internal atriums have been inserted to generate the system of accesses to the different residential units at different levels, simultaneously forming outdoor terraces, which are divisible and can be used by adjoining apartments. The ground floor is an accessible and bright communal space, suited to accommodate green areas and spaces for collective use. Despite the limited budget for the project, local construction agreements have allowed for the buildings to achieve Class A classification. In fact, the inclusion of high efficiency systems (solar panels, district heating, radiant floor heating, air handling units) combined with highly insulated envelope (façade coating, low emissivity double glazing) will reduce the annual consumption for winter heating.


architect: Mario Cucinella Architects  |  team: Mario Cucinella, David Hirsch, Marco Dell’Agli, Luca Stramigioli, Giuliana Maggio  |  status: Competition (2012) Completed (2015)  |  clasification: 1 rang  |  consultant: Geoequipe Studio Tecnico Associato, Area Engineering srl, Ing. Enrico Manzi, Scisciani e Frascarelli Impresa Edile, Rubner Holzbau SpA, Saitec Company srl, Promo SpA  |  structural engineer: SCE Project srl  |  visualizer:   |  model maker: Yuri Costantini  |  budget: 2.300.000 €  |  scale: 1.400 m2 large  |  ratio: 1.642,86 €/m2  |  types: housing, residence, residential  |  views: 2.018