Milan in the '20s. The Institute for Social and Economic Housing, founded in 1908, begins working on a new design for public housing, from accommodations’ interior layout to buildings construction and the overall ground plan: they keep the neighborhoods’ traditional structure, but abandon the typical enclosed structures. New buildings grow in the perimetral area, with internal gardens and courtyards, almost as if ignoring outer life. The facades display decorative motifs, such as bow-windows, shelves under the balconies, windows with more or less elaborated cornices and gables; elements so far seen only in middle-class houses and linked to past styles.
This is the genesis of the building complex in via Aselli, where still today, after nearly 90 years, the property periodically sells vacant properties at public auctions. Working on minimal surfaces (39 sqm) to accommodate small families becomes a challenging opportunity. The original distribution of the tenement, consisting of "rooms" and "services", becomes a series of dynamic areas that revolve around a central pivot, whose fluidity is ensured by the use of sliding walls, transparent surfaces, flush-to-the-wall doors, light colors.
The living area of the flat is set around the staircase, totally made of COR-TEN flat sheets. The sleeping area at the lower floor takes some space from the bathroom area, while upstairs - thanks to the new inner coating - it is possible to recover the attic space, thus preserving comfort of environment and obtaining an office that turns into a guest room, with independent bathroom.
The design has a small dimension, with attention to custom-made objects, such as the kitchen, equipped walls and the bed headboard.