They are alternative urban landscapes of the city we experience today, realised in their planned state through the interpretation that artists or illustrators chose to give them. “Milano città immaginata. 10 projects from the CASVA archives” is an exhibition dedicated to Milan and to the culture of design: designs which, when completed, become real, but that may also remain an idea on a page, a hypothesis, a virtual idea.
“Milano città immaginata. 10 projects from the CASVA archives”
Online exhibition at Milano città immaginata
Physical exhibition from October 16 – 23 2015
Politecnico Milano, School of Architecture and Society
Guido Nardi Exhibition Room
Via Ampère 2, Milano
The exhibition offers the visitor an opportunity to reflect on what makes a city and on the potential of architectural design and planning to influence the fabric of our society. Visitors are invited on a journey across Milan from the city centre through the plazas, past the main infrastructures and on to districts and streets, they are invited to traverse the terrain of ideas and the taxonomy of architecture. Amid the tension which is created between a city we no longer see, because it has become too familiar, and an imagined city, an interpretative space is created, analytical skills and intuition are refined, and in this way a narrative is created.
At the centre of this it must be underlined how one of the merits of an archive is precisely the ability to display documents without forcing them into an historiography but rather, through the use of serial numbers, it simply guarantees the availability, accessibility and the usability of the past. Thanks to the horizontal indexing of the collection the proposed itinerary becomes a kind of path between the past and the future. This exhibition recounts ten archive projects, which due to their cultural value are able to overcome temporal distances; a culturally flourishing past cultivates an enriched future; the city centre, the squares, the streets and the districts of Milan could have been different to the reality, but perhaps those differences still somehow emerge in the urban landscape of today.
«It seems that for any given city there exists a popular impression, which is the sum of many individual impressions. Or perhaps there is a series of popular impressions, each one held by a certain number of people. These mass impressions are indispensable if an individual is to operate successfully in their field and be able to collaborate with others. Each individual impression is unique […], and yet it is much like the popular impression, which is more or less fixed, more or less comprehensive, in each different place».
Kevin Lynch, from L’immagine della città, Marsilio, Padua, 1964
The CASVA, Centro di Alti Studi sulle Arti Visive (Centre for the Study of the visual arts), is home to a rich collection of documents from the worlds of planning, design and graphics gathered from the archives of many Milanese architects and designers. The breadth and scale of this collection makes CASVA a multi-purpose centre of research dedicated to the visual arts of the twentieth century. Sharing the richness of this patrimony remains something of a challenge, as each document does not immediately tell its own story, but must instead be placed in context in the broader narrative.
Archives, much like museums, are one of the most important ways to conserve the essence of our culture, however they require the user to maintain a constant critical ability to evaluate and historically contextualise each single document. In an archive the documents are organised through a codified language created by specialists, that help to build the historical narrative of that which they are, opening a window onto what could be or could have been. The documents in the CASVA collection may be accessed through booking, in accordance with current terms and conditions.
Some projects in the exhibition:
Fredi Drugman, con Luca Basso Peressut e Fulvia Premoli
A DESIGN FOR THE GARIBALDI DISTRICT
Fredi Drugman, an architect who was active in politics in defence of the old centre of the city and its inhabitants, drew up, together with fellow designers, a new urban and architectural plan for the district surrounding Corso Garibaldi, in close collaboration with its residents and against the interests the speculative planners of the 1950’s and ‘60’s. The objective was to protect and maintain the sense of community of the quarter and the connection between the older buildings and those from the post-war period, through initiatives aimed at urban improvement. To heal the wounds caused by previous demolitions a number of detailed interventions were planned along Corso Garibaldi; low buildings for commerce, workshops and art exhibitions, and higher buildings against the blind walls of the older tenements. Public gardens were planned for the areas leading up to Via Legnano, where the completion of the existing terraced housing blocks was also planned.
A design intended to give new life to an old quarter of Milan.
– See more at: http://milanocittaimmaginata.it/en/projects/corso-garibaldi#sthash.atxnmLtQ.dpuf
Gianni Albricci, Augusto Magnaghi, Mario Terzaghi, Pier Italo Trolli, Marco Zanuso
A DESIGN FOR PIAZZA DEL DUOMO
On the occasion of the Arengario competition, a group of young graduates and undergraduates of the Politecnico submitted a plan for a building designed on Rationalist lines, to be situated where the twin buildings erected between 1939 and 1956 and designed by Enrico Griffini, Pier Giulio Magistretti, Giovanni Muzio and Piero Portaluppi, currently stand. The proposal consisted of a cube of transparent glass placed upon a low podium, sustained by a slender metal frame. The internal spaces were delimitated by stone partitions, while the platform, facing the Duomo, was contained in a simple walled parallelepiped. A covered passage connected the Arengario to Palazzo Reale, entering the great stone wall of the Palazzo that also served as the backdrop to the glass cube.
Sobriety, lightness and transparency proposed as an antidote to the rhetoric of the fascist regime.
– See more at: http://milanocittaimmaginata.it/en/projects/arengario#sthash.xzoLNQZu.dpuf
Franco Buzzi Ceriani, Fredi Drugman, Virgilio Vercelloni
A DESIGN FOR A CIVIC CENTRE AT QT8
Three architects submitted plans for a civic centre to serve Milan and the surrounding towns, as completion of the QT8, an experimental quarter conceived by Piero Bottoni shortly after the end of the second world war. The civic centre, the positioning and functions of which had already been chosen by Bottoni, was to be sited between the Monte Stella infants school, the church and the MM1 underground station. Four blocks would be built around a large terraced pedestrian piazza; they would contain the pre-existing market, an administrative and commercial building, a large cinema and a high-rise hotel that would serve as a counterpoint to the horizontal spread of the square. At a lower level a subterranean piazza with car parks would be connected to the underground railway.
A nucleus of buildings and public spaces to give QT8 the centre it was missing.
– See more at: http://milanocittaimmaginata.it/en/projects/qt8#sthash.F0amDR16.dpuf
La Stazione Centrale
Gabriella Crivelli, Gian Paolo Corda, Franco Giorgetta, Virgilio Vercelloni
A DESIGN FOR PIAZZA DUCA D’AOSTA, VIA VITTOR PISANI AND PIAZZA DELLA REPUBBLICA
Virgilio Vercelloni, the highly cultured Milanese architect, together with a group of associates, developed a visionary design for the area between the Stazione Centrale and Piazza della Repubblica, in response to the competition organised to restructure the public spaces affected by the work on the MM3 underground railway. The project, entitled “Greenwar”, also included the station itself as well as the platforms, which it proposed to do away with. A great urban park – referencing many famous gardens and historical parks, including Central Park and the Botanical Gardens in Padua – starting from the station platforms, continues with a glasshouse under the awnings of the station and proceeds on a line based on La Rambla in Barcelona, arriving in Piazza della Repubblica, where it merges with the Giardini Pubblici.
A giant green utopia to bring nature back to the city.
– See more at: http://milanocittaimmaginata.it/en/projects/stazione-centrale#sthash.hULlo1dG.dpuf
La Stazione Garibaldi
Gregotti Associati, con Raffaello Cecchi, Spartaco Azzola, Vera Casanova, Cristina Castello
A DESIGN FOR THE AREA BETWEEN STAZIONE DI PORTA GARIBALDI AND VIA GALILEI
Vittorio Gregotti’s studio created a plan for the area between Stazione di Porta Garibaldi and the embankment of the ex-Varesine (a disused railway) – where today the Porta Nuova district stands – for a consultation organised by “Casabella” magazine in occasion of the approval of the planning regulations in Milan. The project was based around a large tree-lined embankment which followed the line of the nineteenth-century railway and the “Passante” (railway link) and it creates a “bastion” between the old city and the successive expansions. It would be joined to various public spaces and buildings, in such a way as to recreate ties to the surrounding districts.
A great linear park to transform an abandoned area into a new opportunity for the city.
– See more at: http://milanocittaimmaginata.it/en/projects/stazione-garibaldi#sthash.ZSqwj01F.dpuf
Francesco Gnecchi Ruscone
A DESIGN FOR PIAZZA FONTANA
Francesco Gnecchi Ruscone, a cultured and sensitive Milanese architect, took advantage of the ideas competition to redesign Piazza Fontana by entering a highly provocative project: a giant multi-storey car park, built on pillars, that surrounds the square in a menacing embrace. The car park formed an L-shape between Via Pattari and Via Verziere, with two enormous cylindrical towers at the extremities, for entrance and exit ramps. The design, given the title “Per esempio” (“For example”), was a deliberate act of defiance in the face of the tendency of the period to fill the centre of Milan with multi-storey car parks.
A visionary “ecomostro”, or giant carbuncle, as a warning against the all-powerful automobile.
– See more at: http://milanocittaimmaginata.it/en/projects/piazza-fontana#sthash.X4jF9Vy9.dpuf
Gregotti Associati, G 14 Progettazione, Studio GPI
A DESIGN FOR CADORNA-PAGANO
The Gregotti Associati studio, working on behalf of the Ferrovie Nord Milano in collaboration with other designers, developed an ambitious project to transform the platforms at the Cadorna railway station. The project foresaw a sequence of spaces and buildings raised above the platforms; behind Piazzale Cadorna and the radically restructured station, there followed a glass fronted gallery with shops, an office block, two large glass pavilions in correspondence with the Palazzo dell’Arte and a hotel towards Via Pagano. Squares and raised walkways joined the various parts of the project with the city and Parco Sempione.
A project to transform the obstacle of the railway into a living part of the city.
– See more at: http://milanocittaimmaginata.it/en/projects/piazzale-cadorna#sthash.13tVWR3D.dpuf