Distinctive complex of old and new structures rises from freshly landscaped soil
Italian architect Giuseppe Tortato has completed an expansive mixed use project in Milan: La Forgiatura. The largely-commercial scheme blends the cultural and historical aspects of the site with dramatic landscaping - including an artificial hill - to form a distinctive complex for its design-conscious users. This scenic landscape gardening can be enjoyed through the 8,000 sq m of window panes across the development.
The building rises out of the lush grass with green roofs and stylish wooden panelling, taking direct inspiration from the site’s flora. Tortato explains: “We have adopted an unusual conception of natural elements such as the ground and the light, using them as if they were building materials such as brick or steel structures.
“The adopted design approach has been developed according to environmental sustainability criteria, using a complex process of analysis and planning, attentive to energy, thermal, lighting and acoustic performances, aimed at achieving high levels of comfort and environmental abatement of consumption linked to air conditioning and artificial lighting.”
14,000 sq m of existing buildings were updated in the project while 10,000 sq m were added to create 7 volumes in total. The new buildings were created on land afforded by the demolition of other onsite facilities, with more modern structures replacing them. With the supporting landscaping, the new buildings can be accessed from various levels with their roof gardens in easy reach.
The Raimondi building is the largest of the new facilities and is spread over 8 storeys, two of which are embedded within an artificial hill. The architect has taken care to integrate new and old structures into the wider development with a gentle touch, explaining: “It was natural to think about the recovery of the ancient structures, integrating the new geometries of contemporary architecture, using greenery and movements of the ground as an element of continuity between the buildings.”