There’s one where you can walk just metres away from the spires of the Cathedral, one where you can sit and watch the best essay films, one, again, where you can enjoy a trendy aperitif or dine away from the chaos of the streets and their traffic. Roofs are the new cult places of the city of Milan, the outposts that allow us to live the city’s transformation or admire the dense historical fabric, with its entanglement of courtyards and small introverted spaces. They aspire to be special places, promoters of social relations and experiences, yet at the same time episodes that can suggest other, increasingly heterogeneous, occasions to enjoy some spare time. Indeed, the rooftop garden designed by Piuarch sprang up from the idea of tracing out a replicable model: a surface inspired by international urban farming movements, with an all-Italian philosophy and, most importantly, with the utmost attention to the surrounding physical, environmental and human context. Yes, indeed. Because of the reconversion project for the roof of the offices in via Palermo 1, in Milan, triggered a series of virtuous actions with minimum resources, showing that working on residual spaces and turning them into reference points on a wider scale is possible.
Above Piuarch’s offices, there rises a true open-air garden, built with a modular system of pallets to create easy-to-assemble structures: the result is a network of pathways, widenings for sunbathing, social gatherings or hosting short classes, and small planted areas where vegetables, fruits, and aromatic plants grow together with flowers for enhanced aesthetics. Designed in collaboration with landscape architect Cornelius Gavril, it represents the theme of urban farming going beyond the concept of “0 miles” food: it has a teaching vocation, to show the growing cycle of plants, especially to children; it is available to Piuarch’s team, for breaks or work meetings; it ensures a pleasant view for those living around it and it improves the building’s thermal performance.
In the heart of the Brera neighbourhood, Piuarch’s rooftop garden brings high-altitude farming to Milan for the first time, with its dynamic and versatile season-sensitive character but also with the possibility, from time to time, of changing its all-green layout. A work in progress that every year faces a radical change in its configuration while maintaining its philosophy intact.
Location: via Palermo 1, 20121 Milano – Italy
Photos © Daniele Cavadini
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