In the context of a renewed welfare state, speculations on the future of mobility and the pressing need for a new type of house, this project is aiming at rethinking the civilian dream in the context of the contemporary city. Therefore, the problematic of house, place and space within the city is being dealt with at three main levels. The tactical level looks at problematics of infrastructure space and the strategical level deals with the broad aspect of landscape and house. At operational level, understanding house typology from history helps formulating conclusions and achieve critical thinking.
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Photography: Laura Coulson. Fashion: Harry Lambert. When architect Carlo Aymonino started working on the designs for an affordable housing complex commissioned by the City of Milan in , he wanted to reflect his neo-rationalist ideas and theories for a future urban community.
But it was also quite clear that he wanted to design an icon that would go down in history. Completed in the mids, it was a time when both Italian architects would soar to prominence on the international architecture scene.
As Italo-disco was mixing homegrown electronic beats alongside sampled sounds from across the Atlantic, Aymonino and Rossi similarly looked first to traditional Italian architecture, and then abroad to Bauhaus to construct their style.
Both architects belonged to the neo-rationalist school of thought, which held up historic architecture as an example to be followed. At Gallaratese, Aymonino designed complex typologies of apartments, stacked up upon each other at various recessions, alternating glass blocks with balconies and red window frames. His single rectangular building is a strict, white plastered, autonomous block stretching m and raised up above a ground floor colonnade.
At Gallaratese, the architects designed covered and uncovered yellow walkways to connect the apartments to each other and the city outside, as well as public space — a central amphitheatre and two triangular shaped plazas to socially serve the community.
Red window frames, glass blocks and balconies create a sense of rhythm unfolding across the facades of the housing complex. The brief from the City of Milan to the architects was to design a low-income housing complex that integrated green space, public services and connections to the city within its plan. At the time of commission, the hectare site at Gallatarese was owned by the Monte Amiata Mining Company.
Originally purchased for the use of commercial agriculture, it was pinpointed as a key site for development by architects and planners devising a post-war masterplan for new housing in Milan. Consequently in , the City of Milan and Monte Amiata entered into a business deal for the construction of the housing project, an early example of public and private housing enterprise that has now become the norm. First, squatters controversially occupied it.
Start the clock. Share your email to receive our daily digest of inspiration, escapism and design stories from around the world. Architecture 10 Aug By Harriet Thorpe. Fashion: Harry Lambert At Gallaratese, Aymonino designed complex typologies of apartments, stacked up upon each other at various recessions, alternating glass blocks with balconies and red window frames.
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Monte Amiata Housing
The project is well known in the international architecture community,  and regarded as one of those that better represent Aymonino's vision of the city as a turbulent, intricate, and varied texture,  a paradigm that is known as "fragmentism". The complex comprises five red buildings: two eight-stories slabs, a long three-stories building, another three-stories slab, and an interconnecting structure; these are grouped around a central area with a yellow, open-air theater, and two smaller triangular plazas. The complexity of the skyline is enriched by a number of passages, decks, elevators, balconies, terraces and bridges connecting the buildings with each other and providing for a great variety of pedestrian walking paths. The complex was conceived as an utopian micro-city within the city, and based on Aymonino and Rossi's vision, emphasizing the interplay between housing blocks and their urban context. In the early years after its construction, the complex was abusively occupied by homeless families.
aldo rossi's gallaratese housing complex is captured on film by skyler dahan
As the dust settled following the Second World War much of Europe was left with a crippling shortage of housing. In Milan , a series of plans were drafted in response to the crisis, laying out satellite communities for the northern Italian city which would each house between 50, to , people. Construction the first of these communities began in , one year after the end of the conflict; ten years later in , the adoption of Il Piano Regolatore Generale —a new master plan—set the stage for the development of the second, known as 'Gallaratese'. When the plan allowed for private development of Gallaratese 2 in late , the commission for the project was given to Studio Ayde and, in particular, its partner Carlo Aymonino.