The "Circensia" Recreational Centre, Rescaldina

1954 - 1956
1954 - 1956

Alberto Cugini (progetto delle strutture)

Carlo (ingegnere) Ferrari (progetto delle strutture)

Impresa Teodoro De Servi

Fratelli Bassetti

Associazioni Culturali di Rescaldina

manufacturing technology

Façade: exposed bricks; white plaster

Load-bearing structure: shaped, reinforced concrete doorways (cinema hall)

Windows: aluminium, painted white

Roof: pitched roof

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The recreational centre is located in Rescaldina; Magistretti also designed a church in this municipality, but in the Ravello hamlet.

The centre is made up of two buildings perpendicular to one another. The first, with a rectangular plan, is parallel to the street along which the centre is located (Via Barbara Melzi) and was built on the foundations of a pre-existing building. The bar, entrance, caretaker's apartment and first-floor meeting rooms are located in this building. The cinema in the second building can accommodate 600 people. Its double funnel-shaped plan is recessed compared to the street façade. The two blocks are connected by a courtyard with a bowls court; the various parts of the buildings are connected by the covered walkway and through the bowls court.

Small white and black tiles are used for all the floors of the centre; they were designed by Magistretti and produced by the Teodoro De Servi company, which also built the rest of the complex. The outer wall envelope is primarily in exposed brick with short white plaster inserts.

In collaboration with the engineers Carlo Ferrari and Alberto Cugini, Magistretti focused intensely on the structures supporting the roof of the cinema: a series of parallel, shaped doorways made of reinforced concrete.

Rather than the more usual balconied solution, tiered steps were positioned against the spine wall under the roof; the latter became not only the formal element of the entire project, but also a sort of urban landmark signalling the importance of the civic community centre.


V. Magistretti, Relazione di progetto, Centro ricreativo "Circensia", Rescaldina, 1954-56

R. Pedio, Linea lombarda: opere di Vico Magistretti, in L'Architettura, cronache e storia 57, luglio 1960

V. Gregotti, Un centro ricreativo in Lombardia dell'architetto Vico Magistretti, in Casabella-Continuità 213, 1956, pp. 33-41

R. Aloi, Architetture per lo spettacolo, Milano 1957, pp. 135-142

Centro recreativo en Rescaldina, in Revista Informes de la construcción 132, 1960, pp. 56-59

M. Grandi, A. Pracchi, Milano. Guida all'architettura moderna, Bologna 1980, p. 263

V. Pasca, Vico Magistretti. L'eleganza della ragione, Milano 1991, pp. 28-29

F. Irace, V. Pasca, Vico Magistretti, architetto e designer, Milano 1999, pp. 46-47

project profile by Maria Manuela Leoni
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