Cascina Merlata R6

Uptown is located within the PII of Cascina Merlata, in a position to represent a central element in the construction of this new part of the city. The Plan, made up of a unified design that organises and relates buildings, streets and open spaces, is based on a clear idea of a city in which the street and the block are the primary structuring elements. A city made up not of isolated objects but of ordered systems: the built system, the public space system, the natural system. In accordance with the PII approach, the Uptown project gives shape and body to the block, confirming its strategic role within the plan.

The reference model is that of the city building, which is at the base of the residential city fabric of the early twentieth century; that of a rigorous architecture, marked by the continuity of the treatment of facade, pursuing therefore an idea of architecture as part of a system and not in its singularity as a building. The external façades are characterised by a rhythmic pattern of panels - horizontal and vertical - that recalls the archetypal residential building, the palazzo, albeit in a contemporary form. This rhythmic pattern, based on a progressive rule of lightening upward towards the skys, gives definition to the design of the façades and the succession of openings. In addition, the presence of loggias of different sizes depending on the façade role and orientation gives the envelopes the ability to mediate between the domestic dimension of the interior and the public dimension of the city, embracing the dimension of the void and the landscape.

The heart of the project is the large courtyard inside the block. Located on the first floor and covering an area of more than 1,900 square metres, it is actually a garden, but also an internal square where people can stay or meet their neighbours, a playground for children. The courtyard thus becomes a small urban condenser: a meeting place, a place for socialising, a place for building those intangible structures that are the basis of any idea of civitas. A place of identity for the entire community.

What makes Uptown a true urban system and not just a complex, articulated housing project is the inclusion not only of a garden but also of a series of collective services dedicated to its inhabitants. The ground floor, which covers the height of the space built under the courtyard, hosts a series of commercial spaces of different sizes on the boulevard front, while along the internal street are sequentially located a space dedicated to movie projection, a small squash court, a space dedicated to co-working, and finally a large wellness area - with a small shared swimming pool - connected to an adjacent space dedicated to children's play.

The presence of collective services, which by their own essence induce encounters and social relations, contribute to the construction of a collective identity, thus giving visibility and body to a real community.

Client: EuroMilano S.p.A.
Location: Milan, Italy
Programme: Housing, Residential services, Commercial spaces
Status: On going
Dates: Competition 2017 – 1st Prize
Area: 19.623 sqm
Design: Labics (Maria Claudia Clemente, Francesco Isidori)
Project Team: Maria Rita Longo, Tommaso Mennuni, Marco Thomas Piacentini, Martina Rossi, Sara Sosio
Consultants: Structural engineering: Sio Enineering | MEP: Bimon | Landscaping: Valerio Cozzi