Milanofiori Residential Complex is part of a cluster characterized by a series of functions (offices, hotels, restaurants, cinemas, residences), which has deeply contributed to the improvement of the surrounding area of Assago, in South Milan.
The design of the Residential Complex seeks a symbiosis between architecture and landscape, so that the synthesis of artificial and natural elements could define the quality of living and the sense of belonging by the inhabitants. The interface between the building and the garden catalyzes the interaction between man and environment. This interface is defined by the "C" form of the complex which embraces the public park - conceived as the extension of the existing landscape - and by the porosity from interior to exterior that characterizes all 110 units.
The two facades differ in design: the one facing the street outside is more urban, while the one towards the inner public park is more organic. The design of the urban facade stimulates the sense of belonging thanks to the composition of the white frames which identify separately the units. These frames include vertical wooden panels, which can slide across the frames and control the inner light and privacy as necessary.
The organic facade overlooking the park features double glazed bio-climatic greenhouses. The co-planarity between the glass of the greenhouse and the glass of the guardrail creates an effect in which 'figure-ground' merge together and reverse the roles constantly. This produces a kaleidoscopic effect overlapping the reflection of the public park outside with the transparence of the private gardens inside.
The geometry of the building is shaped by terracing of the upper levels for optimum solar exposure and by tapering of the external terraces in order to increase privacy for residents.
The winter garden has a double value: an environmental one providing a buffer zone, which allows thermal regulation, and an architectural one in allowing extension of the interior living space towards the exterior landscape (and vice versa) permitting different uses as seasons change.
The overlap of different garden layers, from public to private, creates a holistic natural landscape, which is directly customised by each resident by cultivating the gardens, thus personally designing the facade of each unit.
Photo credits: Mariela Apollonio, Michele Nastasi