Francesca Binello Reversed Addition. Appropiation of Emptiness

Source: Francesca Binello ViglianiTitle: Reversed Addition. Appropiation of EmptinessSchool: Accademia di architettura - Università della Svizzera italianaAtelier: Aires MateusModel Photos: Marco CappellettiLocation: Piazza Vetra, Milan, ItalyYear: 2023
Date: February 27, 2024 Category: Academic

Enclosed between curtains of irregular buildings, Piazza Vetra is an urban complex site, which is why it is not experienced as such by citizens.

Having long since lost its function as a square, it is mostly used as a passing widening, almost never for stopping, as if it represented for the city only the “backstage” of the majestic Basilica of San Lorenzo.

The project aims to establish a strong relationship with the pre-existence thanks to the intersection of two pure geometric figures, the octagon and the circumference, generated by the main axes of the context and capable of re-establishing a clear hierarchy between solids and voids.

The public space, redefined in this way, forms a large semicircular square whose center is occupied by the Basilica itself, while outwardly a linear green space reconnects with the John Paul II Park, thanks to the partial closure to traffic of Via Molino delle Armi and the reopening of the section of the Naviglio buried in 1929.

The dialogue with the historic monument is based on a common geometric alphabet: the internal spatialities of the new intervention take up the forms of the apses and side chapels of the church and are the result of a process of addition of hexagonal, cubic, spherical, and pyramidal voids, which re-proposes the fifteenth-century forms in a contemporary key.

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