LOCATION San Donato Milanese, Milan, Italy
YEAR 1991
STATUS Competition
DESIGNER Antonio Monestiroli
TEAM  Ilario Boniello, Martina Landsberger, Tomaso Monestiroli, Raffaella Neri, Elisabetta Rimoldi, Giuseppe Rossi, Giacomo Tutucci

The design choice is to confirm the character of the open space and to build an urban center by arranging on the large lawn a system of public buildings that give meaning to the place through their mutual relations. The existing City Hall constitutes one of the poles of these relationships. In front of it, at the end of a meadow at a distance of 350 meters, is a multipurpose hall that can contain various activities of performance, music and assembly gathering. This building, defined by the relationship between a classroom and a stage body, constitutes the second pole of the system and establishes the character of the large void between it and City Hall. The stage body of the multipurpose hall can be used as a backdrop for theatrical performances on the large lawn in front of it.

City Hall and classroom are arranged on an axis parallel to the Via Emilia. On an axis perpendicular to this are a covered market and a fountain that define a place of collective life immediately in front of City Hall and near the Municipal Library. At this point the park becomes a garden, a meeting place and vantage point for the classroom beyond the long lawn. The fountain is placed on the alignment of the section of Martyrs of
Kefalonia that connects the area with Via Emilia. Between the covered market and the classroom, a long arcaded building parallel to Gramsci Street defines the edge of the park to the northeast and the boundary between the public place and the area designated for residential use. The arcaded building contains on the ground floor all those activities in direct contact with the public (stores, bars, restaurants, artisan workshops), on the first and second floors activities such as offices, professional offices, etc., and forms the edge of a large square that coincides with the park and defines its shape through the relationships between different public buildings. The space in front of the long portico, facing southwest, can be a pleasant outdoor seating area for bars, restaurants, etc. Behind the porticoed public building, a system of five parallel, six-story-high in-line buildings oriented northeast/southwest contains the residence facing large garden courtyards. The project area is a block between Martiri di Cefalonia, Gramsci and Europa streets, the only planned vehicular roads serving the area on the perimeter and leading to the underground parking lots. The roads within the area are of very small cross-section and are to be considered store service and emergency roads. The City Hall-hall axis is parallel to Gramsci Street and confirms the direction of Emilia Street, which is the matrix of the San Donato settlement. The vacant areas along Gramsci Street in the direction of Correggio Street make it possible to assume the continuation of the settlement principle by placing other public buildings in addition to the City Hall and the multi-purpose hall so as to transform Gramsci Street into the central place of the entire urban settlement of San Donato.


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