Reclaiming the old for new living

Tuesday 09 Feb 2010

Costa & Partners transforms 70s block into innovative social housing solution

Designs have been released for a new housing and urban redevelopment project in the suburb of Stone High, Turin. Conceived by Studio Costa & Partners and Studio Mellano Associati, The Sharing Project, winner of a competition organised by Turin’s Public Housing Construction Division, involves the recovery of a former residential block for Post Office employees built in the 70s.

The poor state of preservation of the building, the need to reclaim the Eternit (fibre-cement board containing asbestos) roofing and to bring systems up to today’s standards led the firm to totally rethink the functional organisation of the complex. The building will accommodate various forms of temporary social housing with a series of socially related, health and commercial services open to the inhabitants.

The complex, which will be completed in December 2010, is located in an area of approx. 10,000 sq m, made up of two units with nine floors each. Plans are to create 180 residential units earmarked for a social segment in temporary housing hardship, such as young couples, single mothers with children, students, people waiting for public housing, workers on job transfer, immigrants. A series of support services will also be offered, such as a mediation centre, legal aid services, educational and recreational spaces for children and young people, controlled-price out-patient medical centres, meeting places for cultural activities and events, as well as a bio-market, coffee bar and restaurants.

The renovation of the property also provides structural design and engineering of major technological innovation in order to achieve an energy-efficient building based on the principles of environmental sustainability. Environmentally friendly materials will be used as well as low-maintenance, sustainable energy production facilities, such as a photovoltaic solar system for electricity production, and a solar heating system that will provide hot water.

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