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In the last issue, we introduced the case study of Via Malaga, in Milan, and the themes of public space and new urban scenarios. Today we will continue to deepen these alternative scenarios through one of the different design visions elaborated with our students: the Art-Network project .

Team of the studio: Prof. Barbara Coppetti, Prof. Angela Poletti with Giorgia Carpi, Raffaella Cavallaro, Fabio Santonicola

Work's group: Benedetta Melli, Arianna Missaglia, Ludovica Savio


The concept of this project - Art-network - comes from the idea of creating a strong relationship between art, nature and the community of Milan. Through the creation of a network, the strategy has the purpose to regenerate the abandoned area near Artkademy workspaces and offices, along the Lambro river. At the same time, it concerns a bigger area, as the project also involves its surroundings. The first step to create this network was rethinking of urban connections on a larger scale, that is the design of an efficient bicycle and low-speed line that connect the project with IULM University first and then MUDEC. Parallel to this, a landscape strategy for the smaller scale was developed, with the aim to decrease the spaces now occupied by cars, thus transforming via Malaga into a pedestrian street with limited car circulation, and to enhance green spaces.

The concept design is divided into two different paths: a more natural way that connects the western bank of the river with Giardino Nascosto, coming up to the arches; and a second path that has been treated as a mineral path that connects Artkademy, on the eastern river bank, to the arches. This last one is also characterized by a compact elevation of Via Malaga, which is interrupted only by the presence of the streets.

Design strategy diagram

General Masterplan

The landscape section is structured on three different levels: walking mobility, bikes and low-speed line. In the arches area, the section is articulated in a way that the space obtained from the openings of the arches can be used as exhibitions spaces, work spaces for artists and as a bike sharing station that encourages citizens to use a more sustainable way to move.

Then, the two river banks are linked by a series of platforms, in the northern part, that now create a unique open space that can be seen as the meeting point of the two aforementioned paths. It has been designed as an open space library for the students of the district, but also as a big square above the water where citizens can meet and relax.

Another intervention carried out to redevelop the banks was the introduction of a series of small rest and viewing areas that can be reached through the mineral paths: the water of the river has been treated with a particular system based on Phyto depurative plants, that grow with the help of low stone walls placed inside the river.

Landscape section
Arches axonometry
A new scenario for the arches


All the actions described are aimed at reusing existing spaces and buildings: the ANSA warehouse has been transformed into new workshops and meeting spaces for Artkademy equipped with all services (like a catering service right next to the new FAB-LAB building). The storage is totally transformed by the project: the goal is to make unused spaces available, by creating two long rows of workshops that overlook a single central open space.

A new scenario for the ANSA warehouse

General Project View

The FAB-LAB is the only new architectural element required by the project: it was conceived as a single compact volume that could help via Malaga’s elevation to be completed, because it is situated in an urban void, just near the arches and at the end of the street. The result is a single connection between Artkademy, the new ANSA spaces and the new volume of the FAB-LAB.

The concept of this new building comes from the idea of a compact volume, later modelled and articulated through cuts and irregularities in the façade. The building is composed of four levels: the multifunctional theatre, placed on the underground level; the ground floor; the first floor, which is dedicated to the activities related to workshops and study areas; finally, the second floor, which contains four small residences with patios for the hosted artists. The main connections inside the building are designed to provide free access to the public: in this way, the multifunctional theatre can be accessed through a ramp that runs around the perimeter. Here there is a large inclined staircase, in front of a stage, where different types of events can take place.

The idea is to create a flexible space where the seats are of different types and they can be removed in order to encourage the citizens to build their own space. A large staircase rises up and takes the scene over to the ground floor. It leads to the first floor, which overlooks the ground floor, creating a single big open space that can be used also like a place to sit and interact. Then, from the first floor, it’s possible to move up to the second floor, with the residences of the artists, where patios give both brightness to the interior spaces and dynamism to the structure.

Internal view of the new Fab-Lab

As regards to the exterior, on the other hand, the south facade was designed with an inclination in order to create a space in front of it that could be connected to the arches. The opaque glass used for the façade is made of 100% recycled material, and this makes it reusable in the future.

Another important and relevant part of the project area is the façade that overlooks via Bussola: it will finally become a new meeting place for people. The old car park has been partially redeveloped with dynamic panels, which can be rotated by people in order to reshape the public space in a completely free manner. Some of them will be seating areas, while others exhibition spaces, where artists can show their works, hold public events and artistic exhibitions.

A new scenario for the public space

Lastly, this project mainly focuses on what already exists: it tries to improve it as much as possible, focusing on the quality of the connections and open spaces and introducing new meeting places for the community. In fact, the project introduces, within the neighborhood, Artkademy and the city of Milan, a pole of social attraction and fluidity among the other interconnected spaces near the project area. The result achieved is a new urban scenario that gives space to art, focusing on providing new open spaces for the community and creating a close connection with the surrounding natural elements.

Article by

Benedetta Melli, Arianna Missaglia, Ludovica Savio. Supervisors R. Cavallaro F. Santonicola

Image Credits

Benedetta Melli, Arianna Missaglia, Ludovica Savio. Supervisors R. Cavallaro F. Santonicola


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