YEAR 2011
THEME Architecture, Dwelling spaces, Residential house
STATUS Competition
DESIGNERS Antonio Monestiroli, Tomaso Monestiroli, Raffaella Neri
TEAM  Marcello Bondavalli, Federica Cattaneo

The design of a low-cost, high-energy-performance residential building must address the issue of housing quality as a priority. Indeed, low costs must be achieved through a principle of general economy, that is, through the reduction of housing elements to the minimum necessary for the realization of a high-quality home. Low costs therefore not as low quality but as the achievement of necessary essentiality. Similarly, the goal of energy saving must be pursued not only through appropriate technological arrangements (thermal insulation, solar panels, solar chimneys, etc.), but also by placing the building in the best environmental conditions (presence of parks, gardens, suitable exposure, choice of building materials with appropriate performance).

Our 12-story-high residential building, exposed along the north-south axis, has two opposite fronts intended for living rooms on the south side, and nights on the north side, with the exception of some lodgings exposed at an angle to the northeast and northwest. The south-facing front of the building is totally constructed with a system of loggias of different depths that provide protections from the sun during the hours of maximum exposure. The north-facing front, mainly intended for sleeping quarters, is built with a windowed wall clad in exposed brick. The building is divided into three parts by two stair bodies according to a 1-2-1 rhythm, which allows the composition of the living quarters to be recognized. The gradual increase in the size of the loggias from the bottom to the top gives a particular lightness to the building and builds open but covered places that have a relationship with the landscape, which, as we said, should be predominantly parks and gardens. Accommodations are distributed in such a way as to offer a great deal of combinatorial possibility, so as to meet the necessary flexibility requirement.
To the south, at the loggias that are open to the landscape, there are large painted wood window walls formed by double-opening French doors.
The structure is reinforced concrete, plastered and painted white on the south side, and clad with exposed brick on the north side. The building includes a top technical floor, which contains the facilities, and a basement, where the cellars and necessary parking spaces are located. We assumed a settlement of buildings of different heights, twelve stories and five stories, set in a park and composed of housing distributed with the same criterion based on the double north-south orientation and the possible combination of housing of different sizes in both the low and the high house. The building system offers great possibilities for variation in the cut and combination of housing.


L. Cardani (edit by) Studio Monestiroli  Opere e progetti di Architettura Electa Milan 2021

C. Bolognesi, P. Mazzoleni (edit by)   Housing Contest Repertorio di progetti per edifici residenziali ad elevate prestazioni e basso costo. Design Directory for High Performance low Cost residential Buildings   Edilstampa Rome 2012

A. Monestiroli, L. Semerani (edit by)  La casa. Le forme dello stare  
Skira Milan 2011