The concept: social innovation and urban regeneration
In 2015, the Morzenti Onlus no-profit foundation of Bergamo embarked on an important social and real estate project named “via Maj 30”, with the aim of providing a home to those in a situation of vulnerability. The project was concluded in 2020 with the inauguration of an architectural entity for social housing. An example of technological innovation and environmental sustainability for the requalification of a degraded urban fragment.
The client and the main actors
The Morzenti Onlus foundation, which fully funded the project, was born with the objective of conjugating architecture and social commitment. It developed the project in close cooperation with the municipality of Bergamo and learned from the examples of similar developments in the metropoly of Milan.
The appointed architects are Sergio Camerlenghi and Gabriele Pimpini, who are well acquainted with the reality of Bergamo. The foundation chose La Bonne Semence and Casa Amica Foundation as the social operators who are responsible for the use of the complex and for the interface with the users.
The building is located in the 20th-century centre of Bergamo and offers views on Cittá Alta, a precious gem of Italian urbanism from the Middle Ages. The plot was previously occupied by a petrol station and thus it was completely decontaminated before construction.
The new structure is developed on six floors and spreads in two perpendicular directions. The first volume is aligned with the adjacent buildings and gives continuity to the streetscape of via Maj. The second volume extends perpendicularly to the first one and is characterised by walkways and shared spaces. Both bodies have a stepped cross-section, allowing for terraces that frame the unique views on Cittá Alta.
The street façade is recognisable by the coloured glass of the balconies. These vivid colours are a dominant esthetic element of the architecture. They express brightness and vitality, and at the same time strengthen the feeling of belonging for the inhabitants through the colour-coding of the different apartments.
The building contains 23 apartments which vary from 30 to 70 m2. Special attention was given to prioritise socialisation among the dwellers by carefully designing the shared spaces and introducing large terraces and greenery. Moreover, all the apartments share a common laundry room. Beyond the residential function, the building hosts in its plinth four medical clinics, a social cooperative and a polyfunctional room at the disposal of the residents of the neighbourhood and of the city.
Out of the 23 apartments, 7 are allocated to neurodiverse individuals, while the remaining 23 are rented to households with a situation of economic fragility: young couples, migrant families, students, etc.
The main structure, vertical and horizontal load-bearing and separating elements, is constructed in laminated timber. Only the basement and ground floor have a reinforced concrete structure.
The choice of timber is pioneering towards the environmental transition of construction technology in Italy, as it drastically reduces the embodied energy compared to traditional structures. Furthermore, the pre-fabrication of the structure allows for a more efficient building process. The whole timber load-bearing structure was realised by only three workers over 90 days. Energy optimisation of the building is achieved through photovoltaic energy production and high-efficiency floor heating powered by the district heating. All apartments belong to energy class A and are gas- free.
The two main constructors involved were Cividini Ing. & Co. Ltd. and Rubner Holzbau Ltd.
Cividini was responsible for the building services and the constructions in concrete, steel and glass; while Rubner took care of the roof, the façades and the timber-work.
The concept: social innovation and urban regenerationIn 2015, the Morzenti Onlus no-profit foundation of Bergamo embarked on an important social and real estate project named “via Maj 30”, with the aim of providing a home to those in a situation of vulnerability. The project was concluded in 2020 with the inauguration of an architectural entity for social housing. An example of technological innovation and environmental sustainability for the requalification of a degraded urban...
- Year 2020
- Work started in 2015
- Work finished in 2020
- Status Completed works
- Type Multi-family residence / Social Housing