PIXEL CRISIS: CREATING AN ENTOPIA GRID - BETWEEN UTOPIA AND DYSTOPIA


The colour as an urban redevelopment tool and generator of new scenarios: this is the subject of the second working group, designed to create a new urban identity of this specific part of Milan, Via Malaga. The chromatic differences will act as a social hotspot and will attract creatives in the public spaces.


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

Working group: Matilda Di Michele, Rachele Cremonini, Rengina Dimitratou




Summary Panel

The aim of the project is to regenerate the green space through new colourful connections that underline the importance of the Navigli system. Two possible ecological corridors have been identified in an attempt to establish a new connection system, merging the proposed buildings, that is hard infrastructures with existing buildings, including ArtKademy, and shaping a new synthesis of urban identity and design.


The analysis that has been carried out employs the techniques and concept of the Pixel method. This approach allowed us to weigh the green and the open spaces and the masses built within the project site. A lack of balance was found between these two components, so how to solve this pixel crisis? Having identified the problem, we took art as a reference point, drawing inspiration from the "Montage" method, a Canellian approach that works by following the geometry, compositions, or masses of existing collages, an established art that is defined by precise rules. By choosing Mondrian's paintings for the collage, we began to see a path to follow and interpret to solve the previously identified pixel crisis.


Design strategy diagram

Consequently, the design of the selected existing paintings has been identified and followed. In this way the main areas of intervention started to take shape while the design language is becoming more rationalised. The painting has defined the elements of our strategy, so each of its colours is associated with a different function: red is the main colour and has been chosen to identify stop and stare, a space with acts and exhibitions, yellow displays walk and observe, while blue denotes the informative points, where people can learn or exchange information.


General Masterplan

Design actions

The intervention is divided into three areas: one to the north which focuses on the arches renewal. This area has been redesigned to host exhibition spaces and ateliers whereas the nearby area occupied by Amsa has been converted into a large green space, characterised by a series of walls designed to be used as canvases for street art and to host small exhibition events. The project also includes the reopening of the railway arches with glass walls placed on both sides of the railway, the creation of exhibition walls and of a coloured pavement. Moreover, opposite to the arches, there will be a small welcoming kiosk designed to satisfy basic catering needs. The path leads to the existing secret garden, integrating the existing elements to the proposed development.


Arches axonometry

A new scenario for the arches

The central part is characterised by our main building which is connected, on both its north and south sides, by the ecological corridors, which will host the pavilions along the extension of the project. The corridor that runs through the project can be identified thanks to the coloured pavements, whose tiles, as we already said before, serve as a "code" for our visitors and which also connect the proposed building to the existing Artkademy. The ecological corridors are composed of walking paths and walkways that connect both sides of the Southern Lambro.


The southern part continues along via Malaga and links the existing infrastructure to the proposed identity of the site. Since Via Malaga is the main street that serves as a canvas to exhibit street art, this specific street is a pivotal point to the planning. Therefore, there exists a direct connection between the path created and via Malaga. The two large ecological corridors hosting the pavilions represent a key to the proposed design that highlights the sustainability and the urban individuality of the area.


A new scenario for via Malaga

An important design consideration in the proposed Masterplan has been made about water, as it is an essential element of the project site. Given the current state of the water system, the team has had to investigate and come up with a design and technical solution to improve its quality. With regard to phyto-purification, it has proved necessary to slow down and control the water flow in order to be able to intervene on the quality of the outgoing water. For this reason, the proposed design includes a multitude of interventions on the section of the canal, which is excavated and in which a basin, where the water is stored and cleaned, is created. However, this system requires technical rooms for inspections that we want to place inside our basement. The system consists of two tank lines that interrupt the flow of the canal. The first line accumulates the water coming directly from the canal, while the second line contains and gradually releases the water that has already been filtered and cleaned back into the canal. Phyto-purification requires tanks to store, clean and release the water back into the canal. This implies that the water flow must be low and we believe that this is applicable to the context of the Southern Lambro.


River regeneration strategy: the research of a system to clean water

The building is conceived as the addition and interpenetration of two blocks: one more private, which is closely connected to the existing Arkademy, and one more public. The private part is mainly used by registered guest artists within the Arkademy body. It comprises the private lobby and other open studios and on the upper floors it hosts private accommodation that facilitate international artists. The public part includes an open space lobby, an exhibition space, an auditorium and a cafeteria. It is overall characterized by openness and flexibility of the spaces, as well as by a contemporary design solution which consists in the usage of curtains that can be easily hanged to create more privacy or separate rooms with different uses. Moreover, the rooftop area is converted into a roof terrace that can serve as a new exciting social hotspot of the city.


Internal view of the new Fab-Lab

External view of the new Fab-Lab


All in all, the project is an attempt to create an urban identity of a specific part of Milan that will act as social hotspot and, at the same time, will attract creatives. The proposed scenario includes soft and hard infrastructures working in a sustainable way within the existing conditions.












Article by

Supervisors R. Cavallaro e F. Santonicola;

Students: Matilda Di Michele, Rachele Cremonini, Rengina Dimitratou


Image Credits

Matilda Di Michele, Rachele Cremonini, Rengina Dimitratou.

Supervisors: R. Cavallaro, F. Santonicola.


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