La Corte Verde di Corso Como

Via Francesco Viganò, 28, Milan, Italy

The residential complex “La Corte Verde” (the Green Court) represents a small but important part of its location, It creates an element of transition between the new high volumes to the North and the existing urban fabric to the South. The architect placed the volume on the east edge, overlooking the large green via Viganò street, while the West edge onto via Rosales is defined by a low wall which protects the garden and by a canopy that protects the vehicular access to the underground parking and their stair block.

The front and back façades of the building have very different architectural features. They were chosen in relationship to the disposition of their interiors, their position in the city and their sun orientation. The East front on via Viganò, which hosts the bedrooms, stair blocks and bathrooms, is distinguished by a broken profile which alternates bulges in the form of “bow-windows” and high stacks of floor-to-ceiling windows. The West side, where the living areas extend in large continuous terraces, creates a long screen overlooking the garden. In the upper floors, the stepped profile creates large hanging gardens overlooked by apartments on two floors.

The different materials and textures of the façades are unified by a colour palette in various warm grey tones. These together with the projecting single gable profile recalls the historical city without any direct quotation of its stylistic features. In this sense the new building, more than mimicking the language of the existing city, constitutes its “abstract” re-reading capable of creating an effective transition between the new Porta Nuova complex and the building fabric surrounding Corso Como.

Cino Zucchi’s Five housing blocks in Venice

la Giudecca, venice, Italy

On the island of Giudecca, the abandoned industrial area of the Junghans factory has been turned into a residential neighborhood. The complex of buildings, in part already occupied and that can today be visited, is the outcome of a competition by invitation announced in 1995 by a private enterprise in collaboration with the City of Venezia. The winner was Cino Zucchi. A general plan for the whole area (an urban improvement scheme) was developed from the competition project. Later, the design of the various buildings was commissioned to Cino Zucchi, Boris Podrecca, Bernard Huet / Lombardi-De Carlo, Giorgio Bellavitis and the Archè group. Part of the new housing is earmarked for semi-subsidised housing, some of it is for university dormitories, and another part of it for sale.

The new complex is situated at the centre of the island. To the north the plan takes up the pattern of the existing fabric, in an intelligent micro-town-planning surgery. The presence of the new buildings is diluted in the network of existing routes, extending and reinforcing it through new openings and connections. Some of the industrial buildings have thus been maintained, cut, and transformed, or substituted by other buildings insisting on the same foundations.