Ex Area Alfa Romeo

Ex Area Alfa Romeo

The contest of the project interested one of the biggest dismissed industrial site within the metropolitan area of Milan.

Authors: Gaia Bacciola, Giulia Barbera, Fiorella Medina and Daniela Morpurgo

Function: urban regeneration

Site location: Arese, Milan

Year: 2013

Institution: Politecnico di Milano

Nationality: Italy


The contest of the project interested one of the biggest dismissed industrial sites within the metropolitan area of Milan, known as “Ex Area Alfa Romeo” – an important Italian brand in car industry.

The strategic position of this area, near Expo 2015, integrated into a large scale infrastructure system, and its dimension, are elements that suggest a use not only for local needs, but also as part of the metropolitan demands. The masterplan intentions are those to include the “new Area Alfa” into a wider, sovra-local frame.

Addressing the larger frame means to settle important visible functions, capable of attracting people and investments, while answering to local needs means recalling the importance of connection and need of valuable open spaces.1

In our project this area is going to host diverse activities organised into four clusters: a new neighbourhood, a research/medical district (catching the opportunity of suspended construction permits of Cerba – European Centre for Advanced Biomedical Research project, which initially had to be located in the South of Milan, in proximity to the existent Oncology European Institute), a commercial spot and a start-up incubator.

The four functional districts will be connected by different transportation systems, which means: the public ones, with a tramway that has stops in each cluster and reuses the existing train tracks; private car mobility – main projected distribution roads subdivide the area into four big panes and concur together with tram path and green areas to organize the project; soft mobility routes. The internal mobility choices try to operate a clear hierarchy and to minimize driveways.2

Ex Alfa area can be considered as an industrial historic heritage. Its importance and historical memory must not be lost, but it must be recovered and enhanced. This will be implemented thanks to the recovery of one of the existing industrial buildings, which will hosts a type of light and innovative industry, but without betraying the production spirit of the area. The start up incubator is imagined as a single space that encourages communication between the different companies hosted inside; the masterplan idea is the promotion of industry and technology to address biomedical health care, as well as alongside with mutual benefits to CERBA/medical district.

For the residential neighborhood, the main objective was to give the future developers some fundamental organizing principles: the built up system is planned in continuity with a large new green area. So, higher buildings should be concentrated close to the centre, becoming shorter next by open spaces; maximum building height is done in 15m (5 floors), minimum 9 (3 floors); buildings should not be directly on the street but they have at least a 3-meters-buffer.34

Finally, the Park constitutes at the same time the core and the separator of the project, acting as a filter between different functions but also as common public space, important not only for the settled activities in Alfa area but for the neighboring municipalities.

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