LOCATION Milan, Italy
YEAR 1986
THEME Architecture, Dwelling spaces, Residential house
STATUS Competition
DESIGNERS Antonio Monestiroli
TEAM  Filippo Fortis, Martina Landsberger, Tomaso Monestiroli, Giacomo Tutucci 

The original character of the place is defined by the relationship between the residence and the basilica of San Lorenzo. It is within this relationship that this character must be rediscovered, keeping in mind that the identity of the basilica is made evident in its relationship to the residence and vice versa. This relationship is torn apart by war damage but especially by the detailed plans of the 1950s, and must be recomposed not so much out of respect for the memory of the place as out of a desire to recognize the significance of such extraordinary urban facts as the basilica of San Lorenzo and the remains of the pre-19th-century residential fabric. The project has the following objectives: the new definition of the basilica square; the confirmation of the residential character of Corso di Porta Ticinese.

The square in front of the basilica is completely inadequate in size for the monument. The length of the rectories is random, the pronaos oversized. The residential area is degraded and compromised by the apartment building that was to become the corner of the new block according to an absurd 1956 plan. The project consists of the construction of a wall that starting from Porta Ticinese gives new shape to the course and the basilica square. The wall, of constant height, is windowed when it is the front of new residential buildings, is blind when it binds to the Roman columns, holds the decoration of the canonicals when it stands as their necessary extension. The wall becomes a new architectural system that relates the different elements of the context to each other. Two large portals establish the relationship with Via dei Fabbri and Via Pioppette, which are confirmed albeit as secondary streets. Behind the windowed wall, built autonomously with evocative intent, new residential buildings are planned (on the vacant areas) on both sides of Corso di Porta Ticinese up to the corner with Via Gian Giacomo Mora. In Piazza San Lorenzo, the wall establishes new proportions and becomes a supporting element of Roman columns. Between the existing canonicals and their new extension is a side access walkway to the square. The square is elevated to the height of the basilica while the columns remain at street level and thus appear as a monumental relic, a connecting element between the square and Corso di Porta Ticinese. The rebuilding of the basilica’s pronaos is proposed, a topic of great architectural interest for which a specific competition should be announced. No major demolitions are proposed except for the ugly building next to the sostra on Via De Amicis and the building on Via dei Fabbri next to the apartment building. The problem of Via Pioppette and its relationship to the park is without solution given the no-demolition and no-building constraints placed in the notice. In any case, we believe that the problem of these headers should be addressed as part of the problem of the western edge of the park, from San Lorenzo to Sant’Eustorgio. Via dei Fabbri is confirmed, despite the irresponsible interruption, which is why we propose to rebuild the missing curtain house.


Massimo Ferrari (edit by) Antonio Monestiroli Opere, progetti e studi di architettura Electa Milan 2001

Francesco Moschini (edit by) Antonio Monestiroli Progetti 1967-1987 
Edizioni Kappa Rome 1988