Pirelli Neighbourhood, Cinisello Balsamo

project
1958 - 1960
construction
1958 - 1960
co-authors

Vico Magistretti

Mario Righini

Egidio Dell'Orto

Eugenio Gentili Tedeschi

client

INA-Casa

manufacturing technology

Windows: painted wood

Façade: brickwork infill walls with a rustic, Terranova type plaster finish (linear buildings) or silicone paint finish (towers); black grit (window frames)

Roof: pitched roof covered in cement-asbestos slabs

Load-bearing structure: beams and piers in reinforced concrete (low houses); prefab reinforced concrete cages (towers); reinforced hollow blockwork horizontal elements

Load-bearing structure: beams and piers in reinforced concrete (low houses); prefab reinforced concrete cages (towers); reinforced hollow blockwork horizontal elements

description
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The Pirelli neighbourhood covers an area of 26,000 square meters between Cinisello Balsamo and Milan, close to Viale Sarca. It was built as an enlargement of the residential settlements for workers at the Pirelli factory. The factory was designed based entirely on the building technologies chosen by the group of designers who exploited innovative prefab solutions to lower costs.

The plan of the settlement is designed like a big public garden with football fields, play areas, and pedestrian and cycle paths; within the settlement there are two different housing types: four linear buildings with three floors above ground (either with a C-shaped or L-shaped plan, placed at the edges of the lot) and three, nine-floor towers with a square plan (a total of 290 apartments). The ground floors of the towers are left empty, as are the blocks connecting the horizontal rows of houses; in general the staircases are located in these empty areas, but sometimes small apartments have also been placed there. These building units have ten apartments per floor, each varying in size, while four units are envisaged on each floor of the tower buildings.

The attic floors of the towers are an exception; here a big loggia in front of the apartments creates an almost complete void in two of the façades, changing the size and distribution of the apartments.

From a construction point of view, the most interesting feature is the prefab reinforced concrete cages of the towers with brickwork infill walls and a silicone paint finish. A more traditional rustic Terranova-type plaster was used for the low houses.

bibliography

C. De Carli, Quartiere Pirelli a Cinisello Balsamo, in L'architettura, cronache e storia 83, 1962, pp. 294-299

F- Irace, V. Pasca, Vico Magistretti, architetto e designer, Milano 1999, pp. 52-53

project profile by Maria Manuela Leoni
same years