Un Villaggio alla Barona

First experiment of Social Housing and services in Milan Milan / Italy / 2008

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A large area of the neighbourhood Barona host new reception areas and social activities: residential buildings, social housing, public services and a public park. An urban renewal project on the outskirts of Milan, which suggests new ways to design buildings for social housing.


An integrated village built in solidarity to address the needs of youth and families and to affirm the right of all to a life rich of relationships. The Villaggio Barona is the result of a complex project of urban renewal in the district Barona that covers an area of over 43,000 square meters and an investment of more than EUR 23,000,000. An initiative, promoted and organized by the Foundation Attilio and Teresa Cassoni that, thanks to funding from the Cariplo Foundation and Banca Popolare di Milano, provides for the division of the area into four areas: social housing and the tertiary sector, the retired social integrated, the personal services and public parks. In Barona, suburb of Milan, is therefore coming to life a new space that will allow the meeting of the needs expressed by the local community and the requests submitted by people living in hardship.


From two buildings of former factories are distributed 82 rooms of various sizes. Most two and three bedrooms apartments are intended for permanent lease with rents subsidized to facilitate access to housing for people and families in difficult situations. Inside the residential wing there are three residential housing communities intended to terminally ill people, partially self-sufficient elderlies and intellectually disables. At the foot of the buildings there is a covered gallery, which faces the space for commercial activities; these are placed between the centre of entertainment and cultural promotion and bars that surround the new pedestrian plaza open to the park of the village, accessible to the public.


The social housing counts a total of 122 beds. The structure acts as a bridge between the village, the district and the city and is divided into three different sections. The first with 80 beds in single and double rooms, intended for students, working students, people with intellectual disabilities and to young people who are in situations of social distress. The second is a guesthouse / hostel open to receive and host young people, tourists and people who have to stay in Milan for medium short (interns, temporary workers, relatives of hospital patients, etc.). The third is an area that consists of 4 mini apartments and encourages autonomy housing, when the fourth is a common area.


These accommodations are for people with intellectual disabilities and youth in social difficulties that need partially protected residential solutions and also single-parent families (single mothers with children in difficulty). In the guesthouse exist spaces for group activities also open to the neighbourhood: a canteen / restaurant, a media library and reading room, a room for meetings and cultural events (100 seats), which overlooks a courtyard. An area of opportunities that began as a meeting place between abnormality and diversity that focuses its attention on the relationship between people. Will be managed by La Cordata, a social cooperative from the scout world, for long been engaged in integrated residential projects.


In a two-storey building (3,600 square meters), divided into various sectors, are located the daytime activities of personal services and initiatives of social support. These include a day-care centre for self-sufficient elderlies, a small prep school, a training and orientation centre for professional recovery, job placement for young people in difficulty, an occupational therapy laboratory and a gym open to local residents.


Park for public use occupies an area of over 22,000 square meters. A space through which to connect the different units built and connect the village with the surrounding area. It is planned to build an area for children to play, a multipurpose field for outdoor activities, a lawn area, a space for exhibitions and events, a parking area with trees. 


What the city moves on the edge, tends to exclude and hide, in the Villaggio Barona tends to emerge, it is recognized and placed at the centre; back in new forms the vocation of solidarity that built this city, and it has strengthened its urban soul.

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    A large area of the neighbourhood Barona host new reception areas and social activities: residential buildings, social housing, public services and a public park. An urban renewal project on the outskirts of Milan, which suggests new ways to design buildings for social housing. An integrated village built in solidarity to address the needs of youth and families and to affirm the right of all to a life rich of relationships. The Villaggio Barona is the result of a complex project of urban...

    Project details
    • Year 2008
    • Work started in 2003
    • Work finished in 2008
    • Main structure Reinforced concrete
    • Client Fondazione Attilio e Teresa Cassoni
    • Contractor Borio Mangiarotti
    • Cost 23,000,000
    • Status Completed works
    • Type Parks, Public Gardens / Public Squares / Urban development plans / Adaptive reuse of industrial sites / Landscape/territorial planning / Apartments / Single-family residence / Multi-family residence / Social Housing / Kindergartens / Sports Facilities / Student Halls of residence / Urban Renewal / Recovery of industrial buildings / Building Recovery and Renewal
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