A new green gateway symbolising an industrial past

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The project by studio L2 Architetti to redevelop a former industrial site, now for residential use, resulted in an exciting architectural reorganisation of the area, and a significant boost to greenery

We are in the metropolitan city of Milan, specifically in via Fratelli Casiraghi in Sesto San Giovanni, where the Milanese studio L2 Architetti (Francesco Lorenzelli, Cristina Lancetti and Federico Lorenzelli) took on the redevelopment of the last unused portion of a former industrial site converted to residential use, located in a semi-central position, but in a rather disorganised urban context in need of architectural reorganisation.

“The volumes are organised within a balanced volumetric plan encompassing four buildings” explains Francesco Lorenzelli, “three of which are for residential use, one with four storeys and two with six storeys, in addition to an entrance hall housing the reception and apartment block services” for a total of 65 apartments in energy class A.
The relationship between built and open spaces is also well balanced, with an abundant use of green space, the leitmotif of the whole complex, immediately evident in the reconfiguration of the entrance gateway, which is surmounted by large planters featuring lush, tumbling greenery. The geometric lines and impressive scale, but above all the High Performance stoneware slabs of the Mystone Ceppo di Gré collection by Marazzi, used for cladding in the colour Grey in the 75×150 cm large size, underline the complex’s industrial heritage.

Regarding the apartment blocks, the architect explains “for the facades we chose a light-coloured skim coat plaster for areas with thermal coat insulation, cladding the remainder of the facade with slabs of Mystone Ceppo di Gré – the detail of the facade carrying through into the lobby is an interesting feature. We also used this material inside the buildings on the ground floor, in the stairwells and on some window and door surrounds”, as a linking element between the interior and exterior spaces.

The Mystone Ceppo di Gré collection, available in 4 natural colours and a range of sizes and surfaces, also features the innovative StepWise anti-slip technology, which is imperative for areas with heavy foot traffic, while still guaranteeing surfaces that are soft to the touch.

For the floors in the lobbies, meanwhile, the architects wanted a bold contrast to the red walls, choosing the new Mystone Basalto Piombo collection in the natural finish, inspired by basalt, the most compact of volcanic stones. This product, too, is manufactured with High Performance technology which guarantees excellent strength and versatility for indoor and outdoor surfaces. The same collection, in the structured surface version, was chosen meanwhile for the flooring of the entrance hall.

Photos: Andrea Martiradonna