Herzog & de Meuron

Porta Volta Fondazione Feltrinelli . Milan

Herzog & de Meuron . + comune di milano . Fondazione Feltrinelli

As part of the redefinition of the area Porta Volta, Fondazione Giangiacomo Feltrinelli intends to relocate its seat to the northern centre of Milan, which the Feltrinelli Group considers as an ideal environment for the foundation’s multiple activities.

Strengthening and reinforcing the city The overall master plan for Porta Volta, consisting of the Fondazione, two new office buildings, and a generous green area, holds an important strategic potential for creating a positive impact on the surrounding area. This undertaking by the Feltrinelli Group has an important urban dimension in that it strengthens and reinforces the city. A site steeped in history The historical analysis of the site drove the evolution of the design proposal. The urban organisation of Porta Volta traces its history back to the Mura Spagnole, the ancient 15th century city walls which were the last of a series of fortifications, and since the Roman times they have defined the city’s growing boundaries. After the opening of the bastion in the late 19th century, Via Alessandro Volta laid the basis for the city’s extension outside the ancient walls, connecting as a new, prominent urban axis the historical centre with Cimitero Monumentale. Today, the emptiness of the site is a testament to the historic walls, and at the same time a reminder of the destruction this area suffered during the Second World War. A gate as point of reference within the city Together with a series of other preserved gates, the two gate houses called Caselli Daziari di Porta Volta are an important reference point within the Milanese city plan. The location of Edificio Feltrinelli and the Fondazione along Viale Pasubio and the location of Edificio Comune along Viale Montello opposite the axis Via Alessandro Volta emphasize the historical gate, taking up the Milanese tradition of twin buildings as in Piazza Duomo and Piemonte or Duca D’Aosta. Besides the preservation of the Mura Spagnole’s archaeological remains, the concentration of the building’s mass creates a generous public green area, which connects to and extends the existing boulevards. On the street level, the new buildings house cafes, restaurants, and shops, offering an area for interaction and recreation. A house for the Fondazione Giangiacomo Feltrinelli A narrow gap separates the Fondazione from Edificio Feltrinelli reflecting two autonomous constructions which are simultaneously part of an overall whole. The ground floor of the Fondazione accommodates the main entrance, cafeteria and book store, followed by the double height multi-functional space on the first floor, and an office area on both the second and third floors. The reading room on top of the Fondazione offers researchers and interested public the opportunity to study documents from the historical collection stored in the secure underground archive. A milanese project: scale, structure and repetition The new buildings are inspired by the simplicity and generous scale of historic Milanese architecture such as Ospedale Maggiore, Rotonda della Besana, Lazaretto and Castello Forzesco. They are also inspired by the long, linear Cascina buildings of traditional rural architecture in Lombardy, which already were an important reference in Aldo Rossi’s work, for instance his residential building Gallaratese. This is why we propose an elongated and narrow architecture which in a vaguely figurative way introduces a roof which melts into the facades. The structure expresses the geometrical conditions of the site in a rotation of its members, and establishes a balance between transparency and spatial definition. Façade, structure and space form an integrated whole. The redefinition of Porta Volta will intrinsically be a Milanese Project, taking up themes of Milanese urbanism and architecture, which through the course of history have led to a series of emblematic buildings for which the City of Milan is renowned. Herzog & de Meuron, 2009 Team: Partners: Jacques Herzog, Pierre de Meuron, Andreas Fries (Partner in Charge), Stefan Marbach Project Team: Mateo Mori Meana (Project Manager), Thomasine Wolfensberger (Associate) Liliana Amorim Rocha, María Bergua Orduna, Martin Brandsdal, Nils Büchel, Amparo Casani, Claudius Frühauf, José González, Yannik Keller, María Ángeles Lerín Ruesca, Monica Leung, Christina Liao (Animation), Adriana Müller, Argel Padilla Figueroa, Francisco Requena Crespo, Carlos Viladoms Client: Finaval, Milan, Italy Project 2008 – planned completion 2015

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