Atelier Mendini

The memory of the large factories, works and rows of low houses in long streets underlies the image of our complex in Bovisa, which from a working-class neighbourhood is fast becoming a citadel of technology and universities.
The buildings we offer stand in a strategic point of Via Durando, opposite the long proto-industrial facade of the Politecnico. We have adopted a precise language which aims to combine the historical fabric with the hypothesis of architectural and environmental renovation.
All our buildings can be multifunctional: offices, workshops, dwellings, locations, shops, cafés and restaurants.
Based on this characteristic as neutral containers, their floor plans are flexible and in particular the image of the facades is undifferentiated.
This need has been exploited as an opportunity to draw on the memory of the industrial archaeology of the site, with the continuous repetitiveness of large horizontal windows, typical of the old factories. Our work therefore resembles the plans of proto-industrial buildings in the facades.
Special attention has been paid to the materials, colours and the balance of the composition, where glass has been extensively used across large parts of exterior surfaces. This solution whereby the architectonic volumes are all polished and reflecting, determines the hypothesis of the generational leap by Bovisa from a district of factories to one with ambitions of high technology.
The surfaces of every single facade are monochrome, but the general system of facades is given rhythm by a pattern in which there are four delicate unsaturated pastel shades: lilac, acid yellow, white and salmon pink, the last colour recalling a classic brick nuance.
The colour project has the aim of expressing luminous energy, freshness and that type of Milanese elegance of which our buildings also intend to be symbols. In a strategic position, some triangular tips emerge like spires at the high edges of the buildings where the principal facades meet.
The intention is to create with these distinctive elements, iconic signs of recognition, which make this architectural complex easily memorable for the citizen.
Modern methods of energy saving and auto-production have been used in the plant design.
The panels of the glass facades are supported by a wooden framework, with a highly advanced system both from the building point of view and regarding thermal insulation.

Alessandro and Francesco Mendini