The block follows the big block grid without going against the layout rule “by addition”, typical of industrial areas. The pre-existing buildings are not isolated elements from the past, exposed as foreign objects, but they become part of the new urban layout as an integral part of the block’s morphology. Recovering the industrial heritage becomes thus the key to the urban development’s sustainability. The new meanings are added to the pre-existing identity while safeguarding and respecting it.
The block is made permeable to the point that its inside becomes the extension of the public space of the streets surrounding it, allowing the external functions to find their natural prosecution in the inside space.
The project mixes the functions required by the industrial heritage, realising a connection in the public space between new and old elements. The public space is not hierarchical, and it’s considered the main factor contributing to increase liveliness in the collective and public life, while preserving the privacy of the private space.
By mixing housing, shops and offices and at the same time including hybrid buildings, the complexity of the programme becomes generator of urban processes able to contrast the mono-functionality of the typical nineteenth century blocks.
The treatment of the protected buildings in technological and formal urban terms is different and respects the weight of the existing buildings. The re-utilisation projects, in a coherent balance between conservation and innovation, let old identities and contemporary meanings sediment, and allow to continue seeing, also through the volumetric disposition of the new buildings, the stratification of the various layers and their condition of being later additions.