Tips for Xmas
If you're in Milan do not forget to visit the ultimate realization of contemporary architecture of the Feltrinelli Foundation in Porta Volta. The new headquarters, designed by Herzog & De Meuron architects spread over approximately 2,700 squares meters, five floors dedicated to culture. A narrow gap separates the Fondazione from the adjacent building, reflecting two autonomous constructions which are simultaneously part of an overall whole. The ground floor of the Fondazione accommodates the main entrance, cafeteria and book store, followed by the double height multi-functional space on the first floor, and an office area on both the third and fourth floors. The reading room on top of the Fondazione offers researchers and interested public the opportunity to study documents from the historical collection stored in the secure underground archive.
The new buildings are inspired by the simplicity and generous scale of historic Milanese architecture as Ospedale Maggiore, Rotonda della Besana, Lazaretto and Castello Forzesco. They are also inspired by the long, linear Cascina buildings of traditional rural architecture in Lombardy, which already were an important reference in Aldo Rossi’s work, for instance his residential building in Gallaratese.
This is why Herzog&De Meuron propose an elongated and narrow architecture which in a vaguely figurative way introduces a roof which melts into the facades. The structure expresses the geometrical conditions of the site in a rotation of its members and balances between transparency and spatial definition. Façade, structure and space form an integrated whole.