One of the Case Stellari in the QT8 neighborhood of Milan


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One of the Case Stellari in the QT8 neighborhood of Milan

  1. 1. Mathieu Hubertus Renée Gorris 784647 Ata Bulent Gungor 784224 Silvia Sanasi 778497 Sara Sciuccati 778099 CASA STELLARE IN VIA CIMABUE, 6 Conceived by Piero Bottoni In the experimental neighborhood QT8 Prof.ssa Gaia Caramellino History of Contemporary Architecture Course A.A. 2012/2013
  2. 2. INTRODUCTION The aim of this work was to produce a research of a modern residential building in Milan. We wanted to focus on the theoretical and formal turning point that the experience of the QT8, the experimental neighborhood planned and realized by Piero Bottoni in 1946. Its symbolical meaning in the urban planning of the city of Milan and the change that it brought in the conception of urban planning are one of the most interesting and important point for our field of study and what we are going to do in our future. It has been the future of all the urban planners which learnt and studied how to work in Italy. The building we further analyzed, from its significance in the neighborhood until the most technical aspect, part of the INA CASA plan, is one of the “Case Stellari” in via Via Cimabue, 6, designed by Piero Bottoni himself. We tried to provide a complete analysis of his figure, in order to have a complete overview of his conception of urban planning and his architectural work. The organization of the essay studies the case from the general view until the most detailed parts of it, starting from the author, his philosophy of work, the creation and development of the neighborhood and how it is nowadays, the INA CASA plan and then the case study of the building, the analysis of critical opinions of other architects and planners about the QT8 and, finally, interviews to people who actually live and work there. The project was an experience for us which helped us understanding how we got to the conception of urban planning that we are experiencing and studying today and the development of rationalist ideas in Italy, differently from other european countries, and understand especially what are the long term effects of such a change in the life of a city.
  7. 7. 1. ANALYTICAL DESCRIPTION   • Name: Casa Stellare • Address: Via Cimabue 6, QT8, Milan, Lombardy, Italy • Area occupied by the building/housing development in square meters: 485 sqm • Number of buildings/number of apartments: 36 apartments (4x9 floors) • Functions foreseen in the project and present effective functions: Residential from the start of the project up to now. • Synthetic chronology with the most significant dates: Request for buying the lot: January the 28th 1955. The project started in 1958 and it was accomplished one year later. • Costs: 149.459.994 lire • Protagonists: Cooperativa G.Massarenti (president: Alessandro Ronchi), Alfa Romeo workers, architect: Piero Bottoni (1903-1973). • Brief description : The building is the descendant of the original and first Casa Stellare from 1955-1957 is one out of the seven forecasted “Case stellari” in the third project for the QT8 neighborhood (1953), in the belt added in the northern part of the area assigned to, besides the seven houses along via Cimabue (which was the limit of the neighborhood in the two previous projects), a garden extended until via Scarampo. In the master plan by Piero Bottoni the buildings were meant to be seven storeys high, but they actually were built nine storeys high, while the forecasted amount of seven buildings decreased to only five. Bottoni realized the first building of the series, commissioned by the Società generale immobiliare (General real estate society) - section Istituto per l’edilizia popolare (Social housing real estate institute). According to its typology and construction density, the building belonged to the strategy of intensification of the unitary amount of real estate provision, which
  8. 8. QT8 was specifically meant to carry out in the first place. Indeed, the distributive scheme presents five apartments each floor, located around a wide entrance hall, provided with two elevators and one staircase (displaced according to safety reasons to embody a fireproof service staircase). Among the three apartment units, only one occupies a whole sector of the “star” and presents, besides three bedrooms, a wide living-dining room which occupies the whole width of the wing. This sort of design is typical of Bottoni’s work, even underlined in this case by the presence of two opposite terraces on the two sides of the wing, communicating through the interior space. The remaining four and tiny units are located two by two in the other two sectors of the building, each availing the longitudinal side of the wing. They benefit however of a good air circulation through the windows located in the headboard of the block. Bottoni will then realize in 1958-1959 in the third lot of the series, the building we are going to further analyze in the next chapters, commissioned by Cooperativa Massarenti and slightly similar to the first one. INTRODUCTION OF OUR CASE STUDY The process for the project of “ Case Stellari”, at via Cimabue 6, QT8 Milan, started in 1955. Cooperativa G.Massarenti, chaired by Ronchi Alessandro and formed by Alfa Romeo workers, asked to Amministraione Comunale di Milano ( on January the 28th) the possibility of buying two lots in the area of QT8, of 2480 sqm the first one and 13200 sqm the second one. The aim was to create dwellers for the workers in QT8 since it is close to the factory, in order to solve mobility problems and provide cheap housing. The project was assigned to Piero Bottoni ( 1903- 1973) who designed star-shaped buildings, organized in 3 main wings. The final building covers an area of 485 sqm each floor, not including the basement which is 395 sqm. On each floor 4 apartments are designed, being of 60 sqm the small ones and 120 sqm the big ones. They are organized around a common distributive space of 45 sqm. In total the units realized were 36, 4 for each floor (9).
  9. 9. 2. PIERO BOTTONI 2.1 PIERO BOTTONI’S BIOGRAPHY Piero Bottoni was born in Milan in 1903 and graduated in Architecture in 1926 at the Politecnico di Milano. Since the very beginning, his complex background gained from his experiences in Brera and Politecnico, led him to practice all fields of transformations of the physical environment: from architecture to town planning, from object designing to interior design. His work was all in an intense relation and strongly influenced by other arts, such as painting, sculpturing, mosaic art, photography and cinema. Bottoni was one of the important Italian protagonists of Rationalism. He took part in the Rational Architecture Exhibitions held in Rome in 1928 and 1931. Here he created interior decoration schemes and designs for industrial buildings, models of garages, gas plants and the so-called "electrical houses". From 1929 to 1949 he was the Italian delegate to the Modern Architecture International Congresses (CIAM), therefore Bottoni paricipated in the cooperation in drawing up the Charta of Athens in 1933. Here issues were discussed regarding the mission and duty of town planners and architects for rational town -and settlement developments. In the 30's Bottoni participated in various important architecture -and town planning competitions. He was active in all the Triennale di Milano manifestations where he created a new residential area for the QT8. This new zone for dwellings, located at the outskirts of Milan, consists of projects of rational houses. During these same years he continued with his interests on new furniture solution researches. After the war in 1945, Bottoni became a member of the board of reviews called "Metron" and in 1946 he was one of the founders of the Movimento Studi Architettura (MSA). Since 1953 he has been a member of the national council party of Istituto Nazionale di Urbanistica (INU).After the 50's Bottoni worked together with various architects and planners on different urban development plans, for example for Vignola, Pavullo nel Frignano, Modena, Mantova, Senigallia, S. Gimignano, Sesto S. Giovanni, Brescia, Siena, Breuil, Ferrara, Marina di Pisa, Verbania and San Remo. During most of his life as an architect he also taught students in the university. Immediately after his degree, Giovanni Muzio asked him to collaborate with him to do his course in the architecture faculty of Politecnico di Milano. Though, in 1927, he was relieved for political reasons and subsequently in 1937. He went
  10. 10. back to the university as a professor of Town Planning in 1951 and later, in 1964, as an assistant professor of Set Design and Museology. In the meanwhile, he taught Town Planning Technology at the engineering faculty in Trieste from 1954 to 1965. During the last decades of his life, Bottoni’s pedagogical vocation, something that always marked his work, carried him to a more direct care in teaching, which was probably hindered for many years during the fascist period. Since 1967 he had been full-time professor of Town Planning of the Politecnico di Milano. Unfortunately up to the disciplinary lay-off of all professors of Town Planning of the council of the architecture faculty, requested by minister Misasi in 1971 against the experimentation in teaching methodology in progress. Piero Bottoni died in Milan in 1973. 2.2 URBAN PLANNING ACCORDING TO PIERO BOTTONI Piero Bottoni’s conception of urban planning is clearly explained in his publication , Urbanistica ( Milano : Hoepli, c1970).He firstly states that the element that defines urban planning as the building aspect of the city is wrong, as it is considerably incomplete if applied to the society of the XX century. Since ancient times, urban planning was the ordination of a group of architectural elements and of the city-states. Therefore it refers to a number of aesthetic and geometrical criteria such as a precise social and ethic system. This definition does not take into account a high number of aspects regarding social organizations in the modern world, such as communication- and transportation system, techniques and social issues. It is also worth considering the influence that science had on architecture. From an architectural and aesthetic point of view, industrial revolution lead to the creation of big metropolitan cities and the use of new methods of transportation. From an organizing and social point of view, the scientific method was largely used in the analysis and the research phase of urban planning processes. The need of a solution for the complexity and the variety of problems, was the reason why urban planning theory and practice increased its importance and systematization. Therefore urban planning nowadays can be defined as “the doctrine that concerns architectural, aesthetic, scientific and social and organization criteria, using a number of means such as modern technique, the organization of places and centers designated to all men’s activities (living, production, distribution, social, rest and entertainment) together with communication and transportation,
  11. 11. in accordance with their intrinsic functionality and with public and social primary needs.” The town planner - architect has to to solve the problems in urban aggregations that influence the quality of life of the inhabitants. His duty is to pay attention to hygiene in dwellings with a correct disposition of the building in order to have adequate ventilation and sunlight, for example by avoiding closed courtyards, guaranteeing a minimum distance between two buildings and by setting a number of green areas. He has to place industries in specific decentralized areas. In fact, it is important that industries do not interfere with residences and other public activities, due to the acoustic and environmental pollution that they provoke. The town-planner architect does not believe in a city plan as a random combination of buildings in each directions lead by market forces or by property speculation. On the contrary, he believes in a group of single buildings, each with a different functions which are addressed by the community. It is also his duty to transfer the benefits from the city to the country and vice versa. Once he completed all these tasks, he is able of making his activity sustainable for a future living, addressed to the society. 2.3 ARCHITECTURE OF HOUSING AND LIVING SPACE Piero Bottoni directed the work of architecture in the postwar period according to a program that represents both the enhancement of the principles that he acquired during the rationalist experience and the maturity of his coherent objectives. The function of the QT8 was to unify architecture and urban planning together for the propose of living, which was considered as a human right for a good quality life. During the WW II, while the cultural debate in CIAM and in the Triennale was continuing, Bottoni distinguished himself by means of expressing his opinion of the importance of the need of a social, collective and public aspect of the issue of residence. This aspect was the essential value of the architecture he realized in the conception of the QT8. In 1943 he wrote that “The true representative value of architecture stands essentially in the harmony of solid construction, urban environment and social character of the work”. Six years later he wrote about the integration of architecture within the urban planning process becomes indispensable and the social need of architecture is the condition for the “period of the achievement and the evolution of rationalism”, mentioned in the publication of Antologia di Edifici Moderni a Milano.
  12. 12. He states to be against the formalism and the dreariness of the buildings that overcrowd the suburbs of the italian cities and that disfigures monumental and natural environments. These are the demonstrations of a lacking balance between techniques, arts and social issues. For this reason it is necessary to encroach on the urban field. The urban planning field is the one that creates a modern aesthetic of a harmonic whole of buildings and their cities, a balanced spatial relationship according to their function and is the one that adapt building housing to its social necessities. “Architecture represents the equilibrium between technical and social functions and the form, within the limits of art; art is the fantastic interpretation of a rational reality.” Piero Bottoni was often criticized for believing in a supremacy of urban planning and architectural projects. According to this statement we can see that this is not true, Bottoni always intended to develop all aspects of the project and never neglected art. He was deeply keen on the expressive research and the artistic elaboration, both in details and in the overall work. He also believed that standardization, unification, industrialization and prefabrication are four essential compulsory stages to achieve modern architecture. 3. CIAM 3.1 CIAM EXPERIENCE In order to fully understand the elements that influenced Bottoni in his ideas of the development of QT8 (discussed more in depth in the next paragraph), we need to start with understanding the CIAM principles. The Congrès Internationaux d'Architecture Moderne CIAM (International Congresses of Modern Architecture) was an organization founded in june 1928 at the Chateau de la Sarraz in Switzerland. It was realized by a group of 28 European architects organized by Le Corbusier, Hélène de Mandrot (owner of the castle), and Sigfried Giedion (the first secretary-general). CIAM was one of many 20th century programs meant to advance the cause of "architecture as a social art". It was responsible for a series of events and congresses organized around the world by the most prominent architects of the time. The objective was to spread the principles of the Modern Movement focusing on all the main domains of architecture such as landscape-, urban- and industrial design.
  13. 13. The organization was hugely influential. It was not only engaged in formalizing the architectural principles of the Modern Movement, but the members also saw architecture as an economic and political tool that could be used to improve the world through the design of buildings and urban planning.The fourth CIAM meeting in 1933 was planned to be held in Moscow. Though, plans changed because of the rejection of Le Corbusier's competition entry for the Palace of the Soviets was neglected. This was a moment and an indication that the Soviets had abandoned CIAM's principles. Instead it was held onboard a ship called the SS Patris II, which sailed from Marseille to Athens. At this very moment the group discussed the principles of "The Functional City", which broadened CIAM's scope from architecture into urban planning. Based on an analysis of 33 cities, CIAM stated that the social problems, faced by many cities, could be solved by strict functional segregation. This could be realized by the distribution of the population in higher densities into taller apartment blocks located at widely spaced intervals. These proceedings went unpublished from 1933 until 1942, the moment in which Le Corbusier published them in a heavily edited form as the Athens Charter. The city planning principles were adopted in the ideas of how to rebuild Europe after WW II, although some CIAM members had their doubts. Alison and Peter Smithson were among those dissenters. When implemented in the postwar period, many of the ideas were compromised by tight financial constraints, poor understanding of the concept, or popular resistance. Mart Stam's planning of postwar Dresden in the CIAM formula was rejected by its citizens as an "all-out attack on the city." As its members traveled worldwide after the war, many of the ideas were spread outside the borders of Europe, especially in the USA. The CIAM organization disbanded in 1959 because the views of the members diverged. 3.2 THE DEVELOPMENT OF QT8 ACCORDING TO CIAM EXPERIENCE In the publication QT8 e Gallaratese a Milano: morfologia insediativa residenziale infrastrutturale e viaria (Milano, 1966), Piero Bottoni describes his experiences in the CIAM and the influences for the QT8 plan.It is important to note that the movement of european urban orientation appeared from 1925 onwards, and it has its origin in the CIAM. The Athens Charter was published, as mentioned before, after the fourth CIAM. Its contents, besides from being revolutionary, were extremely fundamental for the research and interventions in the field of urban planning.Before CIAM, all
  14. 14. kinds of theories regarding architecture and urban planning, historical-, archeological- and artistic considerations, had no scientific approach. Therefore they were always contradicted or out of date. All previous theories certainly brought some knowledge in the architectural field. Though, they never considered that the base of every urban manifestation is referring to human nature, to the character of ecological evolution, to the nature of all economical and social aspects existing in the territory. The method of the CIAM consists, in order to achieve some general statements related to the development of the cities, on a first phase of a limited number of experimental researches, progressively increasing dimensions and the visual field. This method of research was based on comparisons between different scales. From the discourse of the housing cell type to aggregation of these cells. From the constituting of neighborhoods to the relationship between neighborhoods and resulting in the identification and character of the city. Gaining knowledge regarding specific characteristics of the spaces and their relationship with human activities were also included in the studies. This method was based on the analysis of some statistical data of a large territory. Although CIAM brought several innovations, the research did not deepened relatively the dynamic character of space or the social characters shaping some aspects of this dynamism. The experience of the QT8, since its primary conception, is strictly founded on CIAM studies and it is its exact conclusion. QT8 was originally thought of as a big experimental laboratory concerning building trade rather than urban planning, as the architectural issue seemed to be of greater importance. It was later, in 1933, that Piero Bottoni and Giuseppe Pagano, director of the magazine “Casa Bella”, agreed on admitting to disregard the urban issue was a mistake in the planning of QT8. Bottoni, together with his team, decided to promote the initiative for a new neighborhood outside the city center of Milan. Here they wanted to experiment not only new materials or constructive methods, but also to evaluate social aspects such as settlements and living conditions. Hence they realized the necessity of QT8 of being permanent.
  15. 15. 4. THE TRIENNALE 4.1 HISTORY OF THE TRIENNALE The Triennale brings together a collection of designed works and many exhibitions of modern art and design. The initial idea was created as a socialist initiative in 1918 and was founded by Guido Maragoni in Monza in 1923. The first Bienniale of the decorative arts of the ISIA (Istituto Superiore di Industrie Artistiche) was located in the college of advanced education in arts of Monza. After the realization of the Palace of Arts, designed by Giovanni Muzio, the Bienniale moved to Milan in 1933. Since the beginning, the Triennale aims at enhancing and stimulating interactions between industries, manufacturing and applied arts. Over the years, in this context, the Triennale played a role of importance in attracting media for the innovative Italian environment. The innovative role of the exposition was expressed already in the first edition of 1933, when artists such as Giorgio De Chirico, Mario Sironi, Massimo Campigli and Carlo Carra exposed their works. The focus of the reality of the post-war period also involved the Triennale in rebuilding initiatives. It played a prominent role in the realization of the QT8 district of Milan. With this experience, the interest of the Triennale for urban planning and technological innovations applied to construction developed, and it will become one of the fundamental themes of the fifties. In the same year, the Triennale became a point of reference for the industrial design, hosting for example the exposition of the Golden Compass Award. 4.2 VII TRIENNALE The VII Triennale was planned to take place in 1939, but was eventually postponed by one year. The event took place in 1940 within a climate op political crisis throughout Europe. This specific political, cultural and artistic atmosphere was characterized by a gradual closure, which was strongly influenced by fascist principles, concerning the desire of reborn of order, past tradition and strict formality. Regarding the latter, the VII Triennale was depending on the Presidency of the Council and the Ministry of Education. The purpose of this edition was to celebrate nationalism through the assumption of a monumental style, which seemed the only suitable way to demonstrate the greatness of the Republic. In this context the influence of the Academy of Rome was evident, moreover it
  16. 16. seemed the most appropriate institute of influence connected to this task. Only a few sections of the exhibition were treated by rationalist architects. The executive committee of the VII Triennale asked Bottoni to take part in a special committee concerning the task of low income furnishing in 1939. This committee was upgraded into a study commission chaired by Bottoni, who was forcefully respected because of his intellectual experience and of his several participations to the prior Triennales. The educational and popular intentions of the exhibition were fully conformed. The exhibition became an occasion for an evaluation of the developments regarding the issues of human habitation. Significant issues were discussed, such as the criteria related to the new manufacturing techniques and the “House of Today” The exhibition of housing: The space is divided according to two different solutions; either into a living room and a study room, or into a living room and an eating place. Both of these alternatives clearly show a distribution of main functions in the house related to the common activities during the day. In the first configuration, the main element, which is accessible from the gallery, is the studio. It provides a working space with a chest and a bed along the horizontal axis. In this way the common space for communication and the more private space for working and studying are separated. Regarding the latter, the combination of a living room and an eating place, it’s characterized by a dining table and a small area with a living room and a small bar. The function of the kitchen is one of preparing food and storing the table wear. Every single element is placed in order to use the space as efficient as possible. The wardrobe, with traditional furniture, is located in a small space in the apartment in order to be able to get the sleeping rooms free from closets. This distribution also allows to group the sleeping rooms, creating a greater specialization for each environment. The bedroom itself was designed to be smaller into a mere appropriate size. The beds of the children were placed in special rooms. The best living conditions favored the introduction of toilets and the installation of sanitary appliances. 4.3 VIII TRIENNALE After the Second World War, the program of the Triennale had to be modified according to the dramatic social and economical consequences of the war. The
  17. 17. VIII Triennale is the first Triennale after the great war and had therefore the opportunity of being the expression of the new political and social reflection of the society. This framework is the result of a new type of democracy focussing on solving lower class problems. Unlike the previous ones, this edition intended to address its program to the needs of the lower class, therefore the central theme was housing. The object was to finalize, through its knowledge and authority, all economical, technical and political forces to give an immediate and concrete contribution for the reconstruction, working with a national and international collaboration. The main importance, concerning interior design, was to focus on the function and material from the constructive and aesthetic point of view. The “Triennale of the Reconstruction” focussed on problems through typological experiments: with the exhibition of furniture and, related to urban planning, with the construction of a new experimental neighborhood in Milan, namely the “Quartiere Sperimentale dell’ Ottava Triennale” (QT8). We will analyze the program of the Triennale for the QT8 more in depth in the following chapters. 4.4 IX TRIENNALE The formation of the committee of the IX Triennale was quite remarkable: Albini, Baldessarri, Spilimbergo, Nizzoli, Palace, and finally Ponti and Bottoni. This eclectic composition reflected to the aim of the exhibition, which was open to all different trends a. There was a gap between the achievements of the Triennale and the problems of everyday life in the society. The reason for such a radical difference, in relation with the VIII Triennale, was based on the severe problem of housing. There was a lack of unity between the components of the committee. Moreover, there were seven members with seven different proposals who were organizing the IX Triennale. The main topics were the “Exhibition of the History of Modern Architecture”, “Exhibition of Architecture showing the measure of the man”, “Exhibition of Housing” and “Exhibition of Furniture”. The exhibition of housing: For this exhibitions, designers were completely free to choose the aesthetic criteria for the accommodations, therefore a variety of solutions were presented. The furniture for this edition was presented individually, in separated locations in the accommodation section of the QT8.
  18. 18. In the exhibition were unique pieces of furniture combined with pieces of mass production furniture that reached a remarkable value of style, thanks to the progress of the method of production. The IX Triennale had the tendency to abandon the importance of civil commitment that characterized the Triennale of Bottoni. Instead it focussed more on merchandise and the formal approach. The issue of the lack of housing was largely excluded from this Triennale, in contrast with the previous editions. The task of formulating proposals was not considered as a responsibility of the even, that payed attention to the decorative formalism rather than the housing problems. 4.5 X TRIENNALE The X Triennale was defined by the press as a "Miracle in Milan". This was because, despite the fact of two years of administrative paralysis and limited financial availability, it was possible even though to start the organizational work necessary for its preparation within a few months. In spite of the cultural heterogeneity of the new executive council, a united agreement on the program was possible to realize. The program was confirming the conditions of the prior IX Triennale and was willing to recognize the collaboration between arts and industrial production as one of the most vivid and current problem. Next to that it enhanced the believe in the unitary relationship between painting and sculpture. Though the discussion of these issues, which were missing a set of basic analysis, were solved with a simplification of object types produced on fine industry design and more rarely in craft design. Some of the realized solutions were the accommodation project of IACPM INA- CASA by Gregotti, Meneghetti and Wick; the single-family house of mass production by Ponti, Fornaroli and Rosselli; the prefabricated house in the mountains by Baldessari and Grisotti; and the single room apartment by Ponti, Fornaroli and Rosselli.
  19. 19. 5. QT8 5.1 HISTORY OF THE QT8 After WW II the urban fabric of Milan changed completely. Bombings caused the destruction of 3 million sqm of surface in Milan and of 56% of the dwellings. 220.000 people became homeless and an other 170.000 needed decent housing, ccording to the census of 1942.Piero Bottoni (1949): “Mai si erano offerte occasioni così (tragicamente) favorevoli come quelle che le distruzioni della guerra avevano portato”. Bottoni didn’t just want to create new buildings with the reconstruction process, but he also wanted to experiment with a new building type that was missing in Milan. This new typology was the so called “casa per tutti”: a low-cost mass produced house that could be affordable for every citizen. The aim was also to help the city in order to develop a more balanced coherency according to organic and autonomous neighborhoods. This could solve the problem of the unplanned suburbs. He stated that the problem of housing was intimately connected with the problem of community life both in single houses and in clusters of buildings and therefore also in neighborhoods and cities. This is related to the fact that living space does concern the quality of both interior and external space, a functional and spatial relationship between buildings and open public spaces. He believed that a good solution for housing could also improve the urban condition of popular residential areas. For this reason, after Piero Bottoni was elected to be “Commmissario Straordinatio dell’Ente Autonomo Triennale”, he decided to dedicate the VIII Triennale only to the theme of housing. This theme was going to be complemented from many different points of view and various scales, including for example the interior design and specific construction methods. The project became a reference point in the planning of Milan after the war. The final result was the design of a permanent experimental exhibition area, a new suburban neighborhood in Milan, the Quartiere sperimentale dell’ottava Triennale, QT8, with the goal to provide a good quality of life. The administrative council of Milan authorized the works for construction on the 5th of february 1946. Though, in 1947, during the inauguration of the VIII Triennale, only a small part of the neighborhood was defined in the project. This was due to economical and social reasons (unemployment was a dramatic issue after the war). The QT8 project became more concrete in 1951, in that year the first dwellings were finished.
  20. 20. After the first plan of 1946, two plans where made. One in 1950 and one in 1953, respectively corresponding with the IX and the X Triennale. Both plans functioned as a guideline for improvements regarding urban design and for experimentations in the field of architecture and construction techniques. 5.2 PARTIES INVOLVED IN DEVELOPMENT OF QT8 The project of Piero Bottoni was addressed to different principles. First of all, by giving an innovative and unique contribution to its architecture, every architect could participate separately to the development of the project. Bottoni stated that this project was not supposed to be the “prophecy of the genius” imposed by the architects. On the contrary, he stressed that the best attitude is to work in service of the inhabitants, taking their needs and judgments into account. Every construction firm could collaborate with other parties, especially those with experimental and innovative ideas, methods and systems were particularly encouraged. Other important figures of this program were artisans, craftsmen, artists and decorators. They had the occasion of experimenting and enforcing their activities in a concrete way in a particular environment. At the same time the quality of the living spaces of the QT8 would benefit from this esthetic improvement. Piero Bottoni also encouraged and stimulated the participation of certain economical forces that intended to take part in the reconstruction of Italy. In addition, he enhanced the importance of the collaboration with other nations and foreign architects, in order to have a variety of ideas and better results. 5.3 URBAN PLANNING The QT8 was meant to be an autonomous and self-sufficient neighborhood. During that period different theorists from Europe and the United States started to develop some ideas about these themes, though most of them remained Utopian. The challenge for planners was to create an area characterized by a system of dwellings and a variety of services in coherency with an appropriate relation between space and position, regarding social and economical dynamics. There were two important innovations in the field of urban design. Firstly, the clear distinction between the high speed transit roads and the local roads resulting in a complex system of hierarchy of four different types.
  21. 21. The neighborhood is surrounded by the main arterial roads that serve for the connection of QT8 with the city center and the inner land. A different group of roads in a two axial way serve for the medium size transits, connecting the four different nucleus to each other. These two distribution streets connect the perimeter of the neighborhood with its center. In the center of this district, the streets intersect orthogonally in order to form four different sectors. A third group consists on local streets for the distribution to the residences, organized in order to avoid the interference with the traffic. The last one considers the pedestrian paths connecting the residents to the shops and other services. Secondly, the definition of the proportion of services for each sector. The result was an equal distribution of infrastructures, services and residential units for about 5000 inhabitants per sector. The center of the neighborhood is located in the middle of the four quartets and makes them blend with the commercial, social, recreational and religious activities.The church is located on a big square and connected to an other building which contains the parsonage and a space for religious activities. Restaurants, cafeterias, a post office, movie theatres, agencies and banks are also located in the central part of the neighborhood, enclosed by a 22,75 meters tall building dedicated to the Casa Collettiva on the west side. Though this project was never realized. The plan of the QT8 was guided by three main instruments: framework, regulations and control. The urban and architectural master plan functioned as a general framework for the development of the neighborhood. Building regulations formed the legislative body. The commission of evaluation was elected by the organization of the Triennale in order to control the experimental decisions. 5.4 EXPERIMENTATIONS IN THE QT8 Piero Bottoni stated that since the beginning, the QT8 has been thought as a great experimental laboratory for building industry, regarding planimetric disposition and hight of elevations rather than materials.In particular, the general orientation of the buildings was arranged according to the helio thermic axis, but also other orientations were experimented. According to the height of the buildings, the experimentations regarded high structures (32 to 35 meters) but also 2 storey houses. On the other hand, a limited number of 4 to 5 storey houses were designed, as their construction characteristics were already spread and well-known.Finally, also innovative
  22. 22. typologies were adopted and these where: isolated houses, terrace houses and buildings of 2, 4-5, 7, 11 storey. The experimentations were made in 3 cycles.The first cycle was promoted and financed by the Ministry of Public Works. The first houses to be constructed where isolated houses assigned to veterans, due to this urgent problem, with the collaboration between architects and the Ministry for the Post War Assistance. Also 4-5 storeys terrace houses where done with experimentations in the field of constructions. All houses had equal plan but a variety of innovative systems of industrialization, prefabrication and assembling were adopted, such as the P.M. Constructive System, Breda-Fiorenzini, Gaburri and the Ciarrini systems.The second program was also promoted and financed by the Ministry of Public Works and was characterized by the direct integration of the consultancy of the patent holder firms. Similar to the previous cycle, 4-5 storey terrace houses with equal plan were constructed with the following systems: Eliobeton, Forme Fioruzzi, Tenax and Vlamark. A smaller system of 3 units (two of the which were identical) were constructed with Saccai system.The latest program concerned higher buildings or single family houses. The project by Piero Bottoni of the “Casa Giardino” was never realized, but is very interesting as it consists on a 32 meters structure containing several apartments on 2 overlapping levels. Other examples are: the 11 storey building by the architect Biagi , and the INA CASA 11 storey building by the architects Lingeri and Zuccoli. The “Casa Belga” was a famous dwelling for middle class family made during this period. A number of single-family houses (2-4 levels) were also constructed. 6. CHARACTERISTICS OF QT8 6.1 TERRITORY OF THE QT8 Bottoni’s vision of the QT8 was as a big laboratory for an experimental architectural production which was part of a new social and urban structure. He included several themes in his conception, though most of them were about his concerns regarding the issue of dwellings in public spaces or the problem of other interventions related to public interests. Bottoni kept connecting his job to civil commitment. This is why each aspect of this project is extremely related to the urban planning -and topography.
  23. 23. The scheme of the neighborhood was presented as a site plan in order to highlight its relation within the surroundings and to deeply connect the project with the preexisting environment. The area was a territory in the periphery, completely uninhabited and without any form of building activity. The territory was along the axis of the Olona river and it was subjected to annual flooding. The site belonged to the municipality of Milan but was isolated and kept in a wild and unmaintained state. The total amount of land occupied in Milan by QT8 is 940,000sqm. The borders of the suburb are Viale Alcide de Gasperi in north, Via Diomede in south, Via Serra in east and Via Sant’Elia in west. The actual function of the QT8 is residential. But in order to improve the quality of life in this zone, there are many different functions given to the buildings by Bottoni, such as commercial, educational, cultural, recreational and religious. It’s also crucial mention the existence of natural elements such as public parks and gardens addressed to sport activities and also recreation and relaxing activities. The area is actually designed for 18.000 inhabitants, but today there is 16.300 people living in the neighborhood. QT8 is divided to 4 different nucleus, containing 4500 inhabitants per nucleus. This distribution is made to be able to have the peripheral roads serving this quadrants and the other internal and smaller streets and footpaths. Each of this quadrants have one kindergarten and two of three shopping areas for basic needs. There was a primary school for every two quadrants. 6.2 VEGETATION IN THE QT8 A total of 673.470sqm of land is occupied by the suburb. The area designated to the fields for playing, for sports and for other social activities is 375.694 sqm, while 297.776sqm are dedicated for regular gardens and vegetable gardens. The availability of green areas of 37.6 sqm per habitant. The big public park occupies an area of 375.000 sqm and it is located around the river bed of the Olona river and its branches. There are various enlargements that arrive to the big area occupied by the hill. This disposition, from east to west, provides the crossing of the neighborhood, from the city to the country without interfering with the dwellings. The hill in this park has a different and symbolic meaning. With the words of Graziella Tonon “it can be considered as the expression of the enterprise of the spirit of Milan towards issue of public interests and practice, joined with the spirit of poetry and plastic research that are peculiar to the architect”. It all begins
  24. 24. when the site is used for fixing the rubble of the war. First the old caves were fulfilled with the rubble, then it has been dumped on top of those. The hill is designed along with the general plan of the area, and its construction is finished with the constant stream of the materials coming from other buildings. The morphology follows a specific plastic conformation made of a number of concentric soil terraces. On each soil terrace there are houses of one to 2 floors and their streets. 6.3 SERVICES AND PUBLIC BUILDINGS IN QT8 As mentioned before, the main shops and retail services are located in the center of QT8. The rest is distributed equally among the quadrants. Each of this quadrants have one kindergarten and two of three shopping areas for basic needs. There was a primary school for every two quadrants. The offices of the Municipality of Milan designed an interesting primary school, with the signature of the architect A. Aringhetti. The school’s architecture mirrors the complexity of the school. It consists a combination of a narrow rectangular building linked with a circular one. The entrance hall is located right side of the joint of the two buildings. In the rectangular building there are the classrooms and the gym. The sections representing the terraces of the hill circular building embodies the meeting hall in its center, while the clerkship, the administrative offices, the rooms for the teachers and the domestic staff are along the perimeter. The other public service buildings, such as the garage with workshop, the youth hostel, the youth club, the big covered tennis field and the social center INA CAS, are distributed to various sites of QT8 according to the number of the inhabitants. The youth hostel of QT8 is designed by Ghidini, Mozzoni and Vermi. In order to give the idea of a private dwelling, the architects used particular familiar character so that the different parts of this organism were thought to be very close. In addition, the planning of the areas has done in order to be well controllable from one place only (reception services, day and night). The youth club of the hostel is designed down the hill next to the lake. It provides different activities such as drawing, meeting, reading, music and so on. This building is designed by the architects Franco Berlanda and Angelo Mangiarotti. They wanted to represent the synthesis of this variety of functions, with a variety of shape and disposition of rooms both in plan but also in height. The entrance hall is at a height of 0.15 meters, at 0.70 the reading room, at 1.90
  25. 25. the secretariat and the meeting room. At 3.50 meters, there was lab rooms, drawing rooms and the terrace. The building is designed with four vertical walls bearing an elliptical vault. The playground was the first playground realized in Milan which had a number of facilities. The playgrounds are located in the middle of each group of houses in order to be completely isolated from the traffic and its dangers. And they were also visible from the dwellings. Another group of sport equipments is located in the park on the northern west side of the neighborhood. 7. QT8 TODAY 7.1 QT8 UNFINISHED In the paragraph “QT8, Il Quartiere Sperimentale della Triennale, Storia e Biancio”(from La Casa Popolare in Lombardia) Graziella Tonon analyzes her 50 years (1953-2003) of experience about QT8: “If we compare the current state of the QT8 with the 1953 project, the neighborhood appears largely incomplete . This fact is not necessarily negative”. Why the project was never fully realized? At the end of the first year, with exhilaration provided by the conception of the plan, there were some problems about the executive plan. After the war, the politic view was no longer positive. In 1949, The Communist Party, which Piero Bottoni was supporting, has lost his power in the Government of the State and, depending to that, his power in Milan. The special commissioner left his chair to Ivan Matteo Lombardo, the member of the Christian Democracy Party, at 7 December of the same year. The power of Bottoni even if he was still a member of the Administrative Council, were reduced over leading the realization of QT8. At the same time, there were also some changes at the municipal level of Milan. Actually, most of the politics in urban and building related part of the Town Council was following some speculative rules. Bottoni stated in the first Program of Triennale that they were not “essentially addressed to the people”. In 1952 he said: “The QT8, despite its complete urban program, could not avoid this economical situation”. Because of the renting issues, he confessed that it would be useful to study the financial and technical conditions of the Municipality of Milan, to be able to improve the participation of the private initiative in the construction. Because of this, so called National Solidarity was put on hold. After the construction of some parts of the project took start, the authorities of the municipality of Milan was criticized in a
  26. 26. negative way. They seem uninterested about QT8. In 1951, during the 9th Triennale, Gio Ponti declared his thoughts about QT8: “Here in QT8, there are no houses but the township of Milan didn’t yet consider worthy to arrange the street, and when it rains, some stretches of the roads are really problematic. As ell as it didn’t achieve to the construction of the market and the service center which is essential for the neighborhood life and it should be representative of a civic program; therefore the neighborhood that should have been the honor of a modern Milan, it may be the honor of Piero Bottoni, but not yet the honor of Milan”. The building experimentations went on for fifteen years and some programs were completed. These programs was the 2,3 and 4 storey buildings , 2 floored house for the homeless’s in Via Sant’Elia studied and designed by Bottoni, using the system Arbor-Sarre and the prefabricated Finland mass produced house. They also finished the 11 floor INCIS House in Via Bertinoro and stellar planned building in Via Cimabue. Oppositely, the public parts of the project, under the responsibility of the Municipality were growing slowly. In October 1958, 17% of the overall population predicted by the plan was settled in. Only a kindergarden, the church and some of the shops in Via Agrigento were built. Most of the needed services was missing, such as the market the outpatients clinic, the chemistry, the post office, the first and second school. Concerning on the green area, the part of the Christian Democracy Party admitted that “although the green surface represents the 71.8& of the poverall surface of the neightborhood, it still doesn’t exists one square meter of green that is decently arranged”. In 1966, the public facilities were better than the first fifteen years. The newspaper “L’Unita” published an anonymous article on the disregarded conditions of the QT8, solitariness of the big empty area where the civic center supposed to be. At the same time the condition of the roads were getting worse. There was no footpaths for pedestrians and the missing maintenance of the streets. The idea of having the park of Monte Stella was lost in the Municipality as they didn’t even take care the development of the lake and the enrichment of the green areas. After those days, the situation was changed completely. In these days, people are looking to QT8 with a positive mind, unlike the general view in 50s, even though some disruption in the area is clearly visible, especially in the public places. QT8 is still not fully completed in these days, both a bright and a dark side. Today, where the hill and the park is, the bright side, could be in a worse condition if the buildings which supposed to be there have been realized. The
  27. 27. lack of two important and interesting building typology was an obstacle for QT8 to be considered as a model neighborhood: The Casa Giardino(the garden house) and The Casa Collettiva. They were changed with Casa Albergo in 1953. Together with Pucci, Bottoni designed the Casa iardino in 1945. This project has very clear roots of rationalism and Le Corbusier lesson. In order to have lately the possibility of changing the spatial arrangements of the rooms, they were designed as duplex apartments with autonomous access. The living and dining room were connected to each other and had a two floors height and a covered garden patio. In the lower part, there are some bigger rooms that can be designed and used as retail and offices or as other communal services such as laundry, gyms, entertainment for kids, etc. This typology was really important in order to create a natural environment enjoyable in every scale; flat, building and neighborhood. First, the building was designed as an open sequence of tall buildings with a deep interaction with the green area surrounding the building. But it was never built . The drawings of the Casa Giardino were published in the book on QT8. The Casa Collettiva was also designed by Bottoni in 1948-1949. It was designed as a blend of two different building typology, forming different types of experimentation and social activity. This two different types created a contrast by the means of organizing the services in relationship with the family needs and activities. One of the two bodies was created as an extreme centralization so that the women of the house can get rid of the domestic duties. This was probably inspired by the soviet houses. The other one was designed with the respect to the traditional Italian families. But the constitution of the communal spaces at the joint of the quartets didn’t have all the features designed by Bottoni. The exposition pavilion, the social center, the playground and a group of shops with storage and residence became progressively worse. The main reason of the failure of this unbuilt projects was the missing construction and achievement of the center of the neighborhood. This was the strategic core of QT8, the center of all spatial and functiona connections of the residential quartets. It was connecting a number of squares and creating the hear of the public function and social relations. The public offices, shops, restaurants, cafés and the movie theatre should be overlooking the squares, as well as the market and the Casa Collettiva. In 1952, with the critiques of Gio Ponti, Piero Bottoni admitted that without the public center, the project takes the risk of creating several isolated units, linked together with the spatial adjacency, without any human relationship. In 1959-1961, Bottoni studied some other types in order to create a new base of human core, followed by Virgilio Vercelloni, Buzzi Ceriani
  28. 28. and Fred Drugman in 1962, but this interpretations were never brought to an end. With the absence of this buildings, the church by Vico Magistretti and the school by Arrigo Arrighetti was empty spaces. The lack of the core creates an enlargement of the main axe in located front of it. This helped to the central square to give shape. The central square is existing in all three urban projects proposed. Another result was that the main axe that was designed to connect the core with the exteriors, became a park way instead of a extremely important street for QT8. Whit this unintended changes, the name “City in the city” which was Bottoni’s innovative plan, was completely lost. 7.2 LIVABILITY OF THE QT8 TODAY In spite of its incompleteness, QT8 is one of the most alive suburbs in Milan nowadays, taking into account both the green areas and the quality of life. It is one of the rare situations in Italy that the residential area did not negatively affected by the aspects of suburban residential areas, like isolation or becoming the dormitory of the suburbs and ghettos. It was not a case that affected by urban sprawl with no public services or facilities. We can admit that QT8 is not a ghetto because of two main reasons. One of them is the involvement of a big number of protagonists, and their role in the construction and development of the area. And the second reason is the wide scope of different building typologies that avoided any kind of social enclave. The QT8 was not a suburb forced by the urban sprawl. In truth, Bottoni insisted on a connection between the city and the suburb in all of his urban plans. When he was choosing the location of the QT8, one of his reasons was the possibility of creating a concrete and effective connection of public transportation instead of private cars. Bottoni was also taking the railways into account. Today this liaison has generated by the metropolitan line. But back in 1948, he achieved this linkage by obtaining a bus line between the tram terminal in Piazzale Lotto and QT8. QT8 was not just a residential area. There were many possibilities in the field of employment provided by Monte Stella, the Sport Field, the Villaggio della Madre e del Fanciullo, the Youth Hostel and also the nearby recreational structures of Lido and the racetrack and the stadium of San Siro. At the end, some equipment for services for babyhood and primary education was provided. This increased the regard of the families to the area. The goal of
  29. 29. this improvements was amelioration of the conditions od the women, which was one of the important issues for Bottoni. As mentioned before, a lot of facilities were created in Casa Collettiva in order to reduce the domestic burdens of women. In Casa Incis by Bottoni, there was a daycare service. Even the nursery in Casa incis and the Casa Collettiva wasn’t built, there was still a middle school, three primary schools and four kindergardens. There was also a big amount of playgrounds and other open and closed areas dedicated for the children. 7.3 CONCLUSION QT8 So far, the assessment of the QT8 can be seen from different points of view. According to the urban planning of nowadays, the most important feature of the urban space is to provide the needed environment for every step of the human life, form the birth to the death. QT8 is providing this need in every point of view. From a retailing and commercial aspect, some of the shops, predicted by plans of Bottoni, were not constructed and some of them were empty. This caused a problem regarding the primary needs of the elder who had problems to reaching to the shops. The maximum distance between the residences and the shops was 600 meters in the original plans. This missing extended the open spaces between the houses concerning the isolated situations. As a conclusion, the usage of the footpaths was reduced. However, it turned out to be the main quality of the QT8 and it is one of the expressions of the true attention to human scale. The connection in between the area is well organized and offers both slow and fast speed travel, and a good proportion between pedestrians and vehicles in the street scale. Another important quality of the QT8 is that it provides a good constant involvement with the nature. Every residential structure has several garden, including also vegetable gardens. The large proportions or green is provided by the symbolic Monte Stella and a big public park. QT8 is one of the luckiest neighborhoods in Milan which is in touch with such significant natural elements. Whit his designs, Bottoni showed the possibility of building an artificial environment and enjoyable for living at same time. Actually, besides the maintenance problems of the open spaces and green areas, QT8 has an enjoyable architecture of the landscape, with the well distributed green areas between the human made buildings. The connection of the natural and artificial gives a sense of unity and togetherness to the area. That is why QT8 is considered as an art piece, in the urban composition field. The park is the main attraction of the area, in the middle of which Monte Stella rises.
  30. 30. 8. INA CASA The Plan Ina Casa was started in July 1949 and it was originally planned to run for seven years. The idea was conceived during a period destructions, after WWII, trying to solve the housing problems. The purposes of this plan were the following: facilitating the restoration of existing private homes and the construction of new houses for the homeless; facilitating and increasing the recovery of the housing market; to ensure the lower classes low rents housing allowing in this way the purchase of popular housing.Many have described the intervention as inspired by the economic theories of Keynes, taking as a reference the model of the "Beveridge Plan"in England. Great promoter of the initiative was the Minister of Labour and Social Security Amintore Fanfani, so that, subsequently, the plan in the journals was often referred to as "Plan Fanfani." The structure envisaged by the law of 28 February 1949 for the implementation of the Plan provided for the establishment of two bodies: the first was the Implementation Committee, with development functions of the directives and power of decision on all matters related to the construction of housing. The second, the Management Ina Casa, was the executive body. The Implementation Committee and Board of Directors of the Management Ina Casa were formed by the representatives of different categories (workers, employers and officials of the ministry), so as to ensure maximum social equity and transparency in the various activities that were called upon to perform. The pace of construction, made possible by the organizational structure of Ina Casa, was extremely efficient and it produced about 2,800 units a week, delivering, always weekly, about 550 housing to family assigned. The law was later extended for another seven years, until 1963, the year in which the institution ceased its activities, creating in the end 350,000 housing throughout the peninsula, solving the problem of 25,000 families a year and absorbing 10% of the working days of the working class at that time. The project regarded in the end 5,036 Italian municipalities. Public intervention focused on two types of laws: those issued in the first phase which included interventions for the homeless, and those issued in the second phase that tended to facilitate the resumption of construction of housing through the granting of subsidized loans. The intention of the promoters of the law, workers, participating with monthly contributions to the financing of the Plan created simultaneously a personal advantage (because this contribution gave
  31. 31. the right to have a good home) and an act of solidarity with the unemployed who were, thus, used in productive employment of vast proportions. In the first seven years of life will be invested in a total of 334 billion lire for the construction of 735,000 rooms, corresponding to 147,000 units. At the end of the fourteen years of the plan, the rooms made will be in total about 2,000,000, for a complex of 355,000 units. During the period 31.12.1951 - 31.12.1961 the major interventions were implemented in Lombardy, Campania and Emilia-Romagna, with an incidence of only 5.8% on increasing overall in Lazio. Gio Ponti, during the processing of the law regarding the INA-Casa, criticized the plan and its architecture as too uniform and predictable, but the majority of the italian architects decided to participate in projects from Irenio Diotallevi, Mario Ridolfi Michele Values, by Charles Aymonino, Franco Albini, the study BBPR to Castiglioni, by Ignazio Gardella or Daneri, in Figini and Pollini, Ettore Sottsass and Aeneas Manfredini. It also involved a multitude of different professionals, which included, in addition to architects, planners, engineers, surveyors, who participated in the realization of many neighborhoods, with many different names, which are spread throughout the country. The plan followed strict guidelines, which recalled the architectural trend prevalent at that time in Italy, which was that of neo-realism architectural and that is a close link with tradition, that led to a reinterpretation of the rationalist themes based on the consistency of composition of materials, technology choices, the special architectural, sociological and psychological interpretations of the built environment and space, existing architectural and historical interest. Moreover, in order to guarantee the return of employment, it was expected to be used in the various implementation phases the work of local businesses and small business owners. It was then a field-testing of "neorealist" theories with the creation of districts of great architectural value as the Tiburtino district in Rome (Ridolfi leaders and Quaroni) or the district Spine Bianche in Matera (Values ​​and Michele Carlo Aymonino) or the Village of the Sun in Vicenza. At the same time there was the intervention in the field of small business workforce artisan limited to professional specialization and with modest industrialization. These two facts combined together generated the characteristic of the so-called post-war Italian Rationalism, placed between tradition and modernity, between historical interpretation and functional standards. A particular feature of the project was to put on all the buildings a plaque in polychrome ceramic (some of which are made ​​by great artists such as Alberto
  32. 32. Burri, Cambellotti, Tommaso Cascella, Peter De Laurentiis, Piero Dorazio) or alluding the theme of the project or, more generally, to the theme of the home as happy place. The application of the plaques on buildings, for which the measures, the location and maximum prices were established, was one of the conditions for the test certificate. 9. THE BUILDING 9.1 BUILDING INFORMATION Due Case Stellari in Via Cimabue al QT8, Milano (1955-1957, 1958-1959) The building is the descendant of the original and first Casa Stellare from 1955-1957 is one out of the seven forecasted “Case stellari” in the third project for the QT8 neighborhood (1953), in the belt added in the northern part of the area assigned to, besides the seven houses along via Cimabue (which was the limit of the neighborhood in the two previous projects), a garden extended until via Scarampo. In the master plan by Piero Bottoni the buildings were meant to be seven storeys high, but they actually were built nine storeys high, while the forecasted amount of seven buildings decreased to only five. Bottoni realized the first building of the series, commissioned by the Società generale immobiliare (General real estate society) - section Istituto per l’edilizia popolare (Social housing real estate institute). According to its typology and construction density, the building belonged to the strategy of intensification of the unitary amount of real estate provision, which QT8 was specifically meant to carry out in the first place. Indeed, the distributive scheme presents five apartments each floor, located around a wide entrance hall, provided with two elevators and one staircase (displaced according to safety reasons to embody a fireproof service staircase). Among the three apartment units, only one occupies a whole sector of the “star” and presents, besides three bedrooms, a wide living-dining room which occupies the whole width of the wing. This sort of design is typical of Bottoni’s work, even underlined in this case by the presence of two opposite terraces on the two sides of the wing, communicating through the interior space. The remaining four and tiny units are located two by two in the other two sectors of the building, each availing the longitudinal side of the wing. They benefit however of a good air circulation through the windows located in the headboard of the block.
  33. 33. Bottoni will then realize in 1958-1959 in the third lot of the series, the building we are going to further analyze in the next paragraphs, commissioned by Cooperativa Massarenti and slightly similar to the first one. 9.2 BUILDING CHARACTERISTICS The building has a typical plan in each wing, which is reflected in all the floors apart from the ground floor. From the first floor to the last the units are identical. The distributive scheme presents four apartments each floor, located around a wide entrance hall, provided with two elevators and one staircase (displaced according to safety reasons to embody a fireproof service staircase). These four units are divided into two single bedroom apartments, one double bedroom apartment and one triple bedroom apartment. The former are characterized by a row of windows on only two sides of the apartments, while the latter two have a wide living-dining room which occupies the whole width of the wing. All the typical apartments are made of: an entrance/ hall, a wide kitchen, a living- dining area and from one to three bedrooms each, according to the dimension of the dwelling unit. All the living-dining rooms have a wide balcony. The apartments occupying the whole “wing” have two balconies, on the opposite sides, while the smaller ones have only one. Bottoni payed much attention to the ventilation in the design of the units, in order to obtain a good air circulation also in the apartments having only two exposed walls. Importance was also given to the heating/ cooling system to keep the temperature inside the building as close as possible to the wanted value of comfort. Each dwelling is equipped with two vents. Moreover a big one is planned to be located in the central part of the building for the heating system, the access to this is possible from the garden. The main public serving area is located in the center of the building. A staircase in the hall leads to a big covered room allowing the access to: the rooms meant to control the general conditions inside the building (heating system, electricity, gas supply); a designated area for motorbikes and bikes deposit and the cellars. Next to these cellars in the public area, each apartment is equipped with a partly aerated and illuminated cellar for more private purposes. A fence is provided for enclosing the whole garden area and the access is made possible from two gates, out of which one is meant for vehicle entrance. The height of the building is the maximum allowed for the QT8 detailed plan.
  34. 34. 10. BUILDING TECHNIQUES ANALYSIS 10.1 DESCRIPTION OF THE FABRIC (BUILDING) The fabric is located in the neighborhood dedicated to the 8th Triennale of Milan (Q.T.8), precisely in Via Cimabue, 6. Even if the fabric was concerned in the category of social housing, all the works had to be done as it was for a stately building, and the outcome would have been well refined and sturdy. 10.2 WORKS ON THE GROUND All the works on the ground level (excavation, transportation, filling) necessary for the complexion of the fabric were intended to be in charge of the company which was appointed to set and level the ground, and the remaining earth would have been used for the areas destined to be green. 10.3 LOAD-BEARING STRUCTURE The supporting structure is completely built of reinforced concrete. The foundations along the perimeter are continuous, made of plain concrete (2,5 q - quintals - cement R.500), unless the necessity of elements, such as walls of stairs and elevators, or isolated plinths for the ridge. The foundations reach a level of terrain able to bear a unitary load which of 2 kg per cm2. The foundation slab is located 5 mt below the floor slab. Reinforced concrete foundations are located on top of a layer of lean concrete (150 kg of cement R.500 per m3) with thickness of 15 cm. Masonry walls whose thickness exceeds a head have linear foundations made of plain concrete (2 q cement R.500 per m3). The supporting structure of the building is totally made of reinforced concrete and the perimeter pillars start on the ground floor with a distributing beam. The minimum thickness of the structure below made of plain concrete (2,5 q R.500 per m3) is 40 cm. This supporting structure comprises:
  35. 35. - beams, pillars, architraves, floor slabs, hanging staircases with diagonal soffit and extrados made of steps with tread slabs with thickness of 3 cm and risers with thickness of 2 cm. - the reinforced concrete walls of the elevator wells, with the closing slabs on top and at the bottom, and the stair wells also concerning the arriving vestibules and utility rooms of the elevators, the vertical an horizontal structures of the terraces’ turrets and the expansion well for the heating system. The pillars are dimensioned and located according to the project’s needs, without taking away the structural static safety. Pillars, as well as beams and floor slabs, had been dimensioned according to the spaces needed for the shrinkage, of the chases and tables, and were left the holes and the spaces destined to the hygienical and technological systems, finishes, shutters, exc... So the concrete was poured paying special attention to all those details in order to need to break the least reinforced concrete possible after the pouring, the set up of technological systems and the finishes. The pillars and lintels have been covered by terracotta cladding. The perimeter lintels had been created with the same thickness of the floor slabs. The pot floors are composite and site-cast, with maximum thickness of 22 cm and minimum thickness of 20 cm (this thickness is also the one used for the garret, on top of which it is positioned a concrete topping of 3 cm thickness). The accidental overload to add to floors slabs is 250kg per m2 in the apartments and accessible terraces, and of 400 kg per m2 in the balconies and staircases, and 100 kg in the garrets and not accessible terraces, 1000 kg in the entrance hall. For the foundations they calculated, besides the whole permanent load, 60% of accidental loads listed above. 10.4 ROOF The roof is terraced by the central triangular core, the staircase and the elevator well. The terraces are waterproof with two layers of asphalt 12mm thick, placed on tar paper isolated from the slab with extremely fine sand and, on top of the
  36. 36. waterproof coating are set cementitious slabs (dimension 1x1 m, thickness 3 cm, finished as skimming float), sealed with plastic cement. The general covering of the building is made of French gutter tiles and reinforced concrete frame, creating a completely incombustible ceiling. The throughs are made of zinc-coated concrete having thickness 10/10. The roof is provided with zinc-coated flashings (10/10), ridges, junctions to the vertical sewage system. The ridge trusses are also made of reinforced concrete. 10.5 WALLS The walls of the staircases, of the elevators’ utilities rooms and wells are also made of reinforced concrete (with 300 kg of cement R.500 per m3) with thickness max 25 cm and min 20 cm. They are covered in the internal part with brick wainscots of 4.5 cm or Perret hollow flat tiles of 2.5 cm. The closing walls of the underground basement towards the outside, are made of plain concrete (2.5 q) and thickness of 40 cm, plastered with cement mortar smoothened with a trowel. The walls of the staircase leading to the basement, at the ground floor, will be covered by two-coat plaster work. The inner walls of the elevator wells are plastered with scratch coat, while the small visible parts towards the ledges with two-coat plaster work. The operating engine is positioned at the edge of the well and its room is plastered with two- coat plaster work and painted with lime. The infill panels of the building towards die outside are constituted by two boards of 8 cm hollow bricks, one another separated by a air chamber of 20 cm, and composed by a cement lime mortar. In the north, north-west and west perimeter walls, and all the external walls of the ground floor and top floor, all the panels will be embodied by a double board made of hollow bricks of a head instead of 8 cm with cement mortar. The jamb planks of the external openings have thickness between 12 cm and 25 cm. The internal walls are made of hollow brick boards: the ones separating rooms of the same apartment have cottage with thickness of 4,5 cm, except the toilets
  37. 37. which have a thickness all around of 8 cm. Neighboring/adjacent apartments have walls 12 cm thick between one another. The dividing walls in the basement are composed by boards of full header bricks (mattoni pieni di quarto) with scratch coat plaster work. The windows’ parapets are built with external planks of 8 cm and internal planks of the same measure, but air chamber reduced to 3 cm. 10.6 STAIRCASES The steps and lodges of the staircase are totally made of reinforced concrete embedded in a sloping reinforced platform, along the whole thickness of the wall with minimum height of 25 cm. The staircase to the basement has steps made of white beola gneiss, riser made of full header bricks plastered with cement mortar. They are completed by concrete-framed glass blocks (partly openable) at the different vestibules, and by doors which close the entrance (see ironwork and plans). The staircase reaches 31,20 m high, in order to allow the access to the central terrace whose cover has already been mentiones. Also the elevator well reaches the same height in order to create room for the engine. 10.7 PLASTERS In the interior of the inhabited units the finishes are made by two-coat plaster work, except from the kitchens and bathrooms where you can find tiles and neurolith coatings, underneath which has been placed a scratch plaster with cement lime mortar. The basements present scratch plaster on all the walls and the ceilings. The facades are plastered with two layers of cement lime mortar (2 q of cement and 1,5 q of water lime), plus plaster of the Terranova type, but for the two facades facing the north the two layers are made of cement mortar. The facade plaster work reaches also the internal walls belonging to the inner yards (cavedi) visible from the outside, while for the other walls has been used two-coat plaster work, painted with waterproof paint (like Snoweam). In the lower part, the balconies’ surface and the border are plastered with abraded grit breezing (strahlbild) and smoothened with gypsum. The facade skirting, 1 m high, is made of quality stoneware (litoceramica, Cottonato type), with corner pieces by the windows.
  38. 38. The staircases, passages and elevator halls have walls finished with spot-faced plaster of Terranova type, excluded the ceilings which are made of coat setting painted with a medium made of natural amorphous calcium carbonate (biancone) and glue, and with scuretto at the meeting point with the walls. On the balconies and the ballatoi the Terranova plaster does not reach the pavement, due to the execution of a skirting in smoothened cement of 10 cm height. 10.8 INDOOR COATINGS (MARBLES AND DECORATIVE CEMENTS) The frames and the sills of the windows are made of decorative cement made of light grit smoothened from 3 cm of average thickness and width of 18/20 cm as in the project drawings. The windowsills are basin-shaped, rising by the reveals, width 29/30 cm, thickness 3/5 cm. The stairs’ steps are covered by planks of good quality Carrara marble, with thickness of 2 cm for the risers, which are smoothened, and 3 cm for the treads, which are polished. The ledges are covered by mosaic colored marble, with the same tint of the steps. A skirting made of indexed marble passes along the walls of the stairs and the ledges, which has thickness of 2 cm and height 17 cm. The thresholds of the apartments’ doors and balconies’ windows, together with their rebates, are also made of Carrara marble, with thickness not lesser than 1,5 cm. The walls of the access room of the basement are finished with finely treated and painted scratch plaster. The thresholds of the entrance hall of the mezzanine floor are made of granite marble with thickness 4x20 cm and Balma syenite. In the stairs, the window moldings are made of decorative cement and the boards of Carrara marble. The entrances of the basement’s stair and the safety stair are framed by decorative cement. The balconies’ parapets are made of reinforced concrete, covered with two-coat plaster work on the front and iron on the sides, besides having a decorative
  39. 39. cement cope on the top side, and a flower-carrying sheet-metal cavity wall, by the iron sides. 10.9 OUTDOOR COATINGS (SEWAGE SYSTEM) The drainage pipes of the terraces are linked to the vertical pipes with plumb unions (bocchettoni) protected on top by cuffed gully grating made of brass wires. The amount of drainage tubes for clean waters of the roof for the whole building, made of cast iron, with diameter of 100 mm, completely cashed in the exterior walls with siphon and (ispezione al piede); the pipes for the waste waters are also made of cast iron with diameter of 10-12 cm, and both the first ones and the latter are made with lead and tar chord joints. The horizontal sewage system in the basement and in the courtyard, until the output siphon, are made of stoneware with diameters from 12 to 25 cm, complete with siphons, ispezioni, completed by siphons and linked to the vertical system, divided by clean waters and waste waters. 10.10 FLOOR COATINGS The floors of the apartments are made of marble-chip tiles of 20 cm x 20 cm and abraded grit breezing, laid and smoothened in place, subsequently plastered and finely ground. It needs to be cleaned with sawdust and floor cleaning machine. In the basement, the floor is made of cement concrete (2 q for cubic meter) with 6 cm thickness and cement mortar topping of 2 cm, smoothened, polished and bush-hammered, with 10 cm of riddled gravel as a sub-base. The floors of the balconies are made of smoothed and bush-hammered cement. The ballatoi, the passages, the staircases and the elevator wells’ floors are made of mosaic of marble. The raised ground floor hall is made of marble planks with thickness of 2 cm, with continuous skirting of the same marble, section 2 x 20 cm. 10.11 RUBBISH DUMPS The staircase is equipped with a chute, having the interior section of cm 40x40 from the ground to the first floor and of cm 40x30 from the first floor up to the last one. The chute is meant for the transportation of the garbage to the
  40. 40. underground area, it will moreover be smoothed in the internal part and it will have a small opening on the top for the ventilation. At the bottom a collecting space will be realized, according to the municipal laws of Milan. The later will be 20 cm higher than the cellars and it will be made of smoothed concrete while the flooring will have a slope towards the drain. Right under the chute they will place an hopper machinery to distribute the garbage into the cans and a water pipe to clean the collecting space. 10.12 WOODWORK Doors and windows have standardized measures, in particular: -entrance doors : m 0.85 x 2.10 - internal doors: m 0.82 x 1.96 - internal service doors: m 0.70 x 1.96 - door-windows: m 1.50 x 2.30 (having two shutters) - door-windows: m 0.6 x 2.35 ( one shutter) - windows: m 1.5 x 1.3 (two identical shutters) - windows: m 1.6 x 1.3 (two identical shutters) - windows: m 0.8 x 1.3 ( one shutter) Doors and windows of the cellars: - windows: height m 0.6 and variable width - doors: m 0.7 x 1.96 All the windows ( excluding the ones of the staircase and of the cellars) are equipped with rolling shutters. They are made of high quality fir-tree wood splints having thickness of 14 mm and width of 45 mm. The joints are made of zinc- coated hooks. 10.13 IRONWORK The railings of the balconies, where they are not realized in concrete or mansonry, are made of iron, having a simple round or squared design. The connecting uprights weigh around 23 kg/m2. Where specified in plan, the railings are equipped with tinplated flowerpots, zinc- coated on the inside. The railings of the stairs are realized in iron as well and they follow a fishnet design. A big iron handrail is also present and covered in wood.
  41. 41. The basement windows are protected using solid fixed gratings (weight: 30 kg/ m2) Every corner of every room is covered with tinplated cornerites, hidden underneath the plaster and having an height of 1.80 m. The small doors, giving access to the elevators control rooms and to the rubbish collecting area, are also tinplated and they are 0.70m x 2,10 m. 10.14 HYDRAULIC, HYGENIC AND GAS SYSTEM In the established price are included all the direct and indirect charges relating to plumbing, sanitary and gas industry, exception made ​for the contributions that you must pay to the municipality of Milan and the company Edison Gas to carry water and gas in the building. The final organization of the systems is substantially that which results from the plants and project and it is understood to include, for quality and quantity, all that is necessary to the building to reach its full efficiency in relation to its intended purpose and its structure. The system comprises: -the cold water supply pipes and accessories, including their valves and gate valves arrest -the system of lifting water to supplement the municipal water pressure -the hot water supply pipes and accessories -the fire protection system -exhaust pipes and accessories -the secondary ventilation duct -the supply and installation of hygienic and sanitary equipment -the distribution pipes of the gas and accessories -plates for the gas stove -the vent hood in the kitchen -water hydrants for the staircase Cold water supply pipes and accessories: The hydraulic system includes the supply and installation of all pipes for the supply of drinking water in individual housing, the basement pipes, posts, branches to the individual rooms and equipment , attacks, special pieces including the valves and of the bathrooms, cassettes and discharges from the lavatory and anything else necessary.
  42. 42. Risers are extended up to the ceiling of the top floor and on each floor they have a threaded plug, for any requested counter. Pipelines will be Mannesmann galvanized pipe, seamless. Branches will be equipped with shut-off valves for each kitchen sink, lavatory and washbasin-bidet-bath group . Lifting system of water: the facility will be divided into two networks: one at normal pressure for feeding the lower floors (up to the fourth floor excluded), the other for the upper floors (from the fourth floor including the last one) and 'sprinkler system, using an autoclave with pump, as specified below. The two networks must be indipendend from each other and form the autoclave. The plant is completed with: - cylindrical vertical Autoclave of wrought iron, galvanized after fabrication internally and externally painted with two coats of red lead: capacity l. 5000, equipped with a hatch for internal inspection located below the minimum water level. - An air compressor suitable for the volume of the autoclave complete with connections - Two adjustable elettropressostati - Drain valves with pipe up to the sewer - manumetro-tap with flange for test and a diameter not less than 150mm - Safety valves with lever and weight in bronze and discharge into sewer - Gauge bronze with crystal glass tube and brass protection - Cast iron valves flanges, valves - framework in iron plate with overload protection, a voltmeter general, a switch, as well as for each of the three engines Piping hot water supply: In all the rooms are installed pipelines for the supply of hot water, to be used for household appliances, starting with the water heater. Fire protection system: the staircase is provided with a column of hydrants with UNI type 45 attacks placed in correspondence of each plan. On the ground floor was installed instead, an attack for motor pump. The plant is distinct and independent of the
  43. 43. network services plumbing. The plant includes pipes, fittings, clamps, gaskets, and the cassette fire. Drain pipes and accessories: drains from the baths, washbasins, sinks etc, are made with cast iron pipes and covered with paper, having a diameter of: 30/35 mm (wash basins and bidet), 35/40 mm (toilets and sinks), 90 / 95 mm (wc). Ventilation ducts secondary: all devices are connected to the secondary ventilation performed with steel tubes. This piping network is also connected to the horizontal drain in the basement. Gas distribution pipelines and accessories: in the accommodation and reception will run the gas system from the leading gas company meter up to the plate leading gas company. The internal implant is performed for each column of kitchens providing a connection to the corresponding post of the company for assistance. 10.15 ELECTRICAL AND PHONE SYSTEM In every apartment are installed: one lamp in the kitchen, in the bathroom and in the closet, a lamp in two start-ups in the living room, a lamp with diverted ignitions in the hallway and in each bedroom, an electric outlet for each of the local listed above. The staircase is fitted with two independent bipolar circuits one of which feeds on each floor a center for the lighting of the stairwell. The other feeds two centers one in the vestibule in front of the elevators and the other to the local garbage dump. In the basement are made three bipolar independent circuits. Description and dimensions: The circuits are made of iron pipes leaded Bergmann diameter of 13 mm. Each circuit below is equipped with its own pipe: -plants inside the apartment -risers to light the cabin and the engine room elevators -risers for alarm lifts -risers for the light of elevators -risers motive power lifts
  44. 44. -risers for the light on the steps The lighting systems for the cellars and the garbage dumps are instead made ​of copper sub-lead of cylindrical shape. 10.16 LINING AND SKIRTING the skirting in the bathroom is made of 15x15 white tiles . The skirting of kitchenettes and kitchens are made in normal neutrolith painted and glazed, except at the sink and the stove where a coating is placed made of white tiles. In all the rooms and corridors inputs was applied a 8 cm skirting made of tempered material of thickness of 3.5 mm. 10.17 VENEERS AND PAINTINGS The veneers are realized according to the following criteria: A) internal doors, entrance doors of the apartments, access doors to the ballatoi and elevators’ wells, blind boxes (only for the visible parts), windows and french windows (only for the internal surface): half-shiny veneering made with the technique of enamel mezzo-pastello (coloured enamel itself and painted on top). B) External surface of the fixtures window-window and window-balcony: a layer of linen cotto oil, before a triple layer of grout and oil veneer, completely coated. C) Wooden roller shutters: one layer of linen cotto oil and triple layer of grout and oil veneer. D) Doors in the basement: one layer of oil and one layer of grout and oil veneer. E) Inner sides of the blind boxes: one layer of oil and one layer of grout and oil veneer. F) Ironworks: two layers of read lead and two layers of grout and oil veneer. G) Internal water, gas and heating system pipes: one layer of red lead and two layers of grout and oil paint. H) Cast iron radiators: polishing and rabbling, two layers of grout and oil paint and a final layer of enamel. All the walls and the ceilings of the services are painted with a double white layer. The walls of the inhabited part are painted with pastel colors and a layer of glue to fix it, while the ceilings are only painted in white.
  45. 45. The plaster scratch coated walls of the basement, the basement staircases, and the heat plant (even if made of double-coat plaster work) are painted with two layers of lime. The plastered bottom side of the stair ramps are painted with natural amorphous calcium carbonate (biancone) and glue. The hall’s ceiling is veneered with cementite (iron carbide). All the indoor sills are veneered with a double layer of cementite. 10.18 GLASSWORK 1) Simple and shiny glass on the window fixtures (thickness from 1,6mm to 1,9mm). 2) Shiny semidouble glass on the window-balcony fixtures (thickness from 2,7 mm to 3,2 mm). 3) Simple and shiny glass in the upper part of the services’ fixtures (kitchenette and bathroom), linear moulded glass in the lower part. 4) Wire glass with hexagonal net in the fixtures of the doors on the staircases (thickness from 5 mm to 6 mm) 5) Moulded sturdy glass of the type 33 on the fixtures of the windows in the basement 6) Linear moulded glass on the upper door panels. 7) Safety glass satisfying the requirements of the law decree of 31st of august 1945 nr. 600 on the access doors to the elevator wells and the doors of the elevators themselves. 8) Half crystals, which planks are fixed on a stucco bed by means of metal glass locks, on the screens of the janitor’s lodge and of the elevator halls. 9) Glass also inserted in a stucco bed, in order to fix the planks in their site, for the anti-ports and windows. 10.19 ELEVATORS The staircase is provided with nr. 2 elevators, as shown in the plans.
  46. 46. 10.20 JANITOR’S LODGE AND DRIVEWAY The Janitor's lodge is located in the raised ground floor of the building, as shown in the plan. The entrance hall has an iron and half-crystal screen with sturdy aluminum handles. The floor is made of marble mosaic with big flakes and the skirting is made of the same kind of marble. The floor of the pavement access road to the gate is made of quartzite at opus incertum. The thresholds of access to the road and towards the courtyard are made of Balma syenite hammer worked fine (or granite). The separation walls of the hallway with the Janitor's lodge and accommodation at the ground floor are executed with double plank 12 cm thick as the exterior walls. The walls of the atrium at the upper ground floor are smooth plasterboard and painted in cementite. The gatehouse of the Janitor's lodge is located at the same height of the hallway, as plans, consisting of screens made of polished chestnut wood and glass doors, roller shutters with safety lock out, key in correspondence of the entrance: the gatehouse is separated from the living room by a glass door. In the hall, on the wall opposite the gatehouse, is placed the mailbox. 10.21 HEATING SYSTEM The central heating system is directly connected to the heat plant of the building itself, and it’s fully embedded. 10.22 CHIMNEY The horizontal part, the connections to the boilers and the first part of the vertical section until the soffit of the slab of the first floor, are made in masonry of refractory bricks (thickness 25 cm) with high alumina content (36%) covered by a plank made of header bricks. In the barrel, which has internal net section of 100 x 80 cm, are disposed appropriate separators (traps) for the deposit of soot. This is removed through special counters made of iron, provided with a bearing frame, placed along its side. Another door is especially placed to allow inspections of the duct and it has a net section of 50 x 70 cm. The vertical chimney, which runs by the elevator, having its own well, has net section of 80x80 cm and goes, protected by a coping made​of concrete, up to a meter above the roof of the turret of the staircase.
  47. 47. The chimney is made of modular perforated elements, having minimum thickness of 5 cm, with interlocking edges, covered all around by a plank made of hollow bricks (of 12 cm), after interposition of the air chamber of 5/6 cm, besides being well detached from the side of the elevator well. The barrel is plastered with plaster resin cement and insulation, and the same for the planked perimeter. 10.23 OUTER WORKS Around the entire perimeter of the building is located a concrete sidewalk 1.30 meters wide, having a total thickness of 10 cm, smoothed and bush-hammered, divided into squares with expansion joints sealed with plastic mastic. The substrate is gravel screened with a thickness of 10 cm, the foundation is thrust to the outer margin of 20 x 10 cm (over the thickness of the pavement). Between the hall and the highway there is a 2 mt wide strip, with floor made of opus incertum and formation of little trips with white clay and gravel. In addition there are 10 sewage traps, road type, made of cement for the collection of water provided with siphon and cast iron manhole cover with carvings shackle and having stoneware pipes, connected to the general sewage system of the buildings, having inner diameter of 10 cm. 10.24 MISCELLANEOUS AND AMOUNT Costs of the main building components: - (I) excavation and transportation: 1372843 - (II) concrete and iron: 6909546 - (III) walls: 7514339 - (IV) floors: 11555025 - (V) plasters: 6881601 - (VI) roof: 1159066 - (VII) flooring system and crawl space: 6697294 - (VIII) water pipes: 3349823 - (IX) special plasters: 8080299 - (X) glass blocks: 39420 - (XI) marble and natural stones: 1350592 - (XII) cladding: 658587 - (XIII) metal components: 223856+2674021 - (XIV) wooden components: 17116296
  48. 48. - (XV) hydraulic system: 4665320 - (XVI) electric system: 2792772 - (XVII) finishings: 4059294 tot: 87.099.994 lire land price: 23.440.000 price of the connections: 8600000 green areas: 1720000 heating: 8.600.000 project : 20.000.000 Final tot: 149.459.994 11. CRITICAL REVIEWS ABOUT QT8 11.1 GIULIA VERONESI “The harmony between the rational premises and their practical consequence characterizes the whole work of Piero Bottoni, outstanding town planner since his first works, which date back to the great fight for a new architecture in Italy. [...] Thirty years ago, for a social housing neighborhood in San Siro, Bottoni studied the rational composition of dwelling units, hence thinking the house from the interior; the same method is the one which has been used to create his subsequent work, until the experimental neighborhood Q.T.8, until the I.N.A. house of the two facades, the one South-East oriented, coated with white ceramic is the lightest and most harmonious, in the exact rhythm and yet elusive of the vertical articulation which shapes the limitless surface in a dynamic and alive plane but “bound” in the bright perimetral wire, according to the pure geometry that Bottoni admires. [...] The cut which corresponds to the tenth floor of the block forecasted in the project a huge covered terrace, solely crossed by the bearing elements and columns of the services, destined for children’s leisure. Although screened by a light safety net, the sky had to shine between the two facades, leaving the upper part of the building hovering. Speculation reasons, independent from the architect’s will, determined the actual edit, in which the inner space has been occupied: the enlightened belt has been replaced with a
  49. 49. shaded belt. [...] Even under these minority aspect, the social and aesthetic efforts fit, as happened through the whole professional process of this architect.” “L’armonia tra le premesse razionali del costruire e la loro conseguenza pratica caratterizza tutta l’opera di Piero Bottoni, eminente urbanista sin dalle sue prime prove, che risalgono agli anni della grande lotta per l’architettura nuova in Italia. [...]Trent’anni fa per un quartiere popolare a San Siro, Bottoni studiò la composizione razionale delle cellule di abitazione, pensando cioè la casa dall’interno; lo stesso modo egli ha eseguito nel progettare le opere successive, fino al quartiere sperimentale QT8, fino alla casa INA dalle due facciate, quella volta a sud est, rivestita in ceramica bianca è la più armoniosa e leggera, nel ritmo esatto e tuttavia sfuggente della scansione verticale che modella l’immensa superficie in un piano dinamicamente vivo ma ‘tenuto’ nel nitido filo perimetrale, secondo la pura geometria cara a Bottoni. [...] Il taglio corrispondente al decimo piano del blocco prevedeva nel progetto un immenso terrazzo coperto, traversato solamente dai portanti e dalle colonne dei servizi, e destinato ai giuochi dei bambini. Quantunque velato da una leggera rete di sicurezza, il cielo vi doveva trasparire da una all’altra facciata lasciando come sospesa la parte superiore dell’edificio. Ragioni di ordine speculativo, indipendenti dalla volontà dell’architetto, hanno determinato l’attuale modifica, per cui lo spazio dell’interno è stato occupato: la fascia di luce è così trasformata in una fascia d’ombra. [...] Anche sotto questi aspetti minori, gli impegni sociali e quelli estetici coincidono, come è accaduto in tutto il corso professionale di questo architetto.” G. Veronesi, Palazzo INA in Corso Sempione a Milano, in l‡