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Eco-friendly, affordable housing emphasizes walkability in Milan

International design firm Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel (ACPV) has unveiled designs for the Cascina Merlata Lot R7/2, a social housing complex that will function as a “city within the city” where residents can walk or ride their bicycles to everything they need for their daily lives. Created as part of the Cascina Merlata pedestrian-friendly masterplan that ACPV developed back in 2011, the new, 12,600-square-meter residential complex consists of two structures that have already obtained a ‘Class A’ rating from Italy’s Energy Performance Certification in recognition of their energy-efficient, low-impact design. The development is expected to welcome its first residents this month.

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Located on the outer edge of Milan within walking distance of the Fiera Milano grounds that host the annual Salone del Mobile furniture fair, Cascina Merlata Lot R7/2 is part of a masterplan that aims to improve livability in the city by providing access to essential services and retail destinations within a 15-minute walking radius for residents. Guided by principles of environmental sustainability and community-building, the architects have also integrated multiple parks, public spaces and a series of pedestrian and bicycle paths into the plan. 

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towers with balconies

“The goal here is to foster a sense of community and belonging while also innovating the way we design residential buildings,” said architect Antonio Citterio, co-founder of ACPV. “The masterplan and architectural guidelines for Cascina Merlata play a crucial role in ensuring that the new residents feel at home and have access to all the services they need.”

black and gray buildings with balconies

The development’s two new residential buildings are located between Via Daimler and Via Pier Paolo Pasolini and feature ground-floor retail to engage the public realm. A rooftop garden that tops the residential complex is also visible from street level. The project was designed with BIM and features a 10-story structure that overlooks Via Pier Paolo Pasolini as well as a second structure that consists of two volumes — a south-facing, 17-story volume and a north-facing, 25-story volume — connected with a single core.

+ Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel

Photography by Giulio Boem via ACPV

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