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Fondazione Giangiacomo Feltrinelli: establishing new dialogues in Milan

31 January 2017

The landscape of Viale Pasubio is no longer like the one Milan has seen in these past few years. The building of Fondazione Giangiacomo Feltrinelli has just been inaugurated: one of the most controversial projects in the recent urban development of the city, as it replaced a nursery that Milanese people loved, but also for its huge visual impact on a historical district.

 

It is the first Italian public building designed by Herzog de Meuron and it – like all their projects – cannot and must not go unnoticed. The section is that of a fairy tale cottage (a square with a triangle on top), it develops in length with a modular structure that looks like a mechanical skeleton, it but also reminds of a space ship glided a few steps away from Porta Garibaldi. This architectural mix of straight and diagonal lines consists of five floors above ground and one underground floor, spaces open to the public and office areas, one for the Fondazione and the other (the most important one) for the new Microsoft Headquarters.

 

There has been much talk about the building, but little has been said about its content and the activities that Fondazione Giangiacomo Feltrinelli promotes, i.e. the research in the field of social sciences actualised through exhibitions, conferences, meetings, courses and various forms of art. The key topics are globalisation, politics, representation, work, EU citizenship, dimension of sustainability and participatory practices. In line with the Fondazione's objectives, the Sala Polifunzionale on the first floor was designed to become a new forum, a place for exchange, interaction, discussion and learning. The reading room on the fifth floor is cosier (and more spectacular) and here it is possible to consult the heritage of the Fondazione, made up of 220,000 monographs, 25,000 periodic collections and 1 million and half manuscripts. And last but not least, the trading centre, with Feltrinelli in Viale Pasubio on the first floor and Babitonga Cafè, fluid and open spaces well integrated with the surrounding areas and neighbourhoods.

 

Foto credits Filippo Romano



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