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Case Study: Vanvitelli Housing Estate Giovanni Broglio, 1926-27

Anna Evangelisti Martina Milani Michela Di Viesti Claudia Frassoni Matteo Franti Enrica Florido Matteo Fischi Benedetta Conforti Maria Chiara Falco

Re Co.De!

reshaping contemporary dwelling Thematic Design Studio - BA Architectural Design AUIC School - Politecnico di Milano A.A. 2016/17 Proff. Massimo Bricocoli, Giovanni Hanninen, Gennaro Postiglione + Rodrigo Pemjean and Arch. Francesco Conti, Sofia Coutsoucos, Michele Ignaccolo, Maria Kapitonova, Salvatore Pirina

Index History pillsv

p. 1


p. 4

The inhabitants

Shape Dualità










Drawings Neighbourhood

p.21 1:1000

Building: floor plans, sections, front views 1:200

Typologies: plans and sections Bibliography

1:50 p.31

the building

In the Vanvitelli housing estate by Broglio To understand this neighborhood, you have to go there. You just don’t tell a building designed in 1926 without going there, walking around it, getting inside, because it’s important to us, to read its history through fresh and contemporary eyes and vice versa. It’s therefore been important to meet the people who in their own way, and there are lots of ways, lives this borough and its buildings; it’s been important to see, observe certain details that you just can’t imagine from photos and archive documents, and to finally find the peculiarities which make the old Vanvitelli what it is. History pills It’s important to start with a few historical facts which can’t be overlooked to better introduce our building in the broader panorama which makes the city of Milan. The Vanvitelli public housing estate, home to our two case studies, was designed between 1926 and 1927, and it’s part of a social and political plan which provided new dwelling solutions for the proletarian working class making his way into the growing city in larger and larger numbers. In 1903 the Luzzatti law sets a new first place role in terms of economy for what it concerns the housing and the family care, leading to the responsibility for the community to realize this statement of principle. And idea which to this day may seem ordinary, while instead it was a key event given the liberal political situation set up by Giovanni Giolitti to resolve social questions in the first phase of the Italian 20th century. These are fundamental years for the history of Italian cities, which saw a constant increase of their population, caused by the migration of new workers, mainly workmen, form the surrounding countryside. In 1908, on the heels of the Istituto Case Popolari born in Rome right after the Luzzatti law, the Istituto Autonomo Case Popolari (IACP, later during the 90’s turned into ALER) was founded in Milan; it’s was founded as a new institution (now dissolved) aiming at promoting, building and running public housing intended to accomodate lower classes through low rents. -1-





from outside to inside


still life in the courtyard

Shape: the pentagonal building as seen from piazza Carlo Erba

Location: via Vanvitelli, the calm street of the district

Shape: the pentagonal courtyard


The role of Giovanni Broglio was already an important one in the city of Milan; in the first years of the century he was in charge of a survey on the housing conditions of the working class, the awful results of which lead the Società Umanitaria, a late 19th century Milanese institution active in the field of welfare services, to undertake the building of two working class housing neighborhoods, the very first ones in the city, the design of which was assigned to Broglio himself. With the institution of IACP he is named head engineer of the technical office, and it’s thanks to him that the larger part of public housing in Milan is built. Other than that, he made a significant contribution to the innovations in architecture and dwelling solutions with his projects.

1930 1930

1946 1946

1972 1972

2017 2017




Location The Vanvitelli estate, which takes his name from one of the overlooking streets, is composed by six single buildings and is located in an area between the Città Studi district and the historical city walls, more specifically in a block between via Pascoli, via Vanvitelli and piazza Carlo Erba. Just think about its position: the city growing made it pass from an extreme peripheral location to the pulsing grid of the city over approximately 100 years of existence, making it a service and connectionsurrounded block, how the people we met pointed out. But it’s just if you don’t look at the physical position that you can tell a certain atmosphere which makes life here differente from other districts. We’re talking about atmosphere as something external building themselves: the presence of distant, airy spaces, 1972to the house, to the2017 bright boulevards, easily accessible roads, both by car and on foot, thanks to the street configurations. The inhabitants It is vital to notice, when studying the building as it presents itself today, that the Vanvitelli estate is no more, since the 80’s now, a working class housing borough. We’ll in fact see later how every apartment has been sold to private clients and the users are the most diverse and hardly classifiable: you can find university students from the nearby Politecnico di Milano, as well as standard families with 2017 children, elder widows or single adults. Shape The neighborhood, although not so known except by architects, perfectly represents the typological research of the architect, it mirrors his intention to vary on the same theme, as he wants to show the general layout of the floor plans as a varied, different habitat where court buildings and semi-closed blocks live together. There is an upstream attention to the urban configuration, but at the same time an extreme focus on at the quality of the environment. as the cuttings in the street grid which permit a better ventilation. Each building has a general layout which makes it similar to the very near one, with formal variations and this is what characterizes the entire approach Broglio has to the project. He is, in fact, in continue seeking of an “urban and civil dignity” (Baffa, 2005) of his projects, a concept at the very basis of modern architecture masters, especially in the city of Milan: his strong personality gets him to express architectonically into what we can call a true “bourgeois mimesis” (Rossari, 2005). The working class housing tries to emulate formally the urban fabric, to such an extent that these buildings don’t express their origins at all, origins which can be better seen in interior spaces details and their arrangement. It is rather important to us to notice that duality which you can find between the curated, camouflaged exterior forming the urban scenography and the interior, marked by numerous openings and private spaces which melt into collective ones as a unicum. The presence of these collective spaces it’s a tangible proof of the social aspect as a primary element of Broglio’s project process: it belongs to those times when the house flowed into the exterior and approached to the city, unlike today where it seems to have the opposite case, as the city sneaks into the domestic landscape and deprives it of some fundamental intermediate collective spaces. Meeting and talking with people is fundamental to bring back to reality what since this moment we have investigated and discovered, so if it is not the building to tell us at first that in the neighborhood life is good and it would be pleasant to live there, it is said by the inhabitants, like Barbara, the current doorwoman, born and raised there: “let’s face it, this neighborhood is so cool!” -2-4-

DUALITA [dua-li-tà] s.f.

1. Qualità di ciò che è composto di due elementi o principi 2. (filos.) il rapporto esistente tra due principi antitetici e irriducibili l’uno all’altro | dal latino tardo dualitate(m), deriv. di dualis ‘duale’ Duality is a characteristic specific to a single object. The duality which characterizes the housing buildings designed by Broglio makes them seem to have two different faces: the interior and the urban one. They are interesting not only in their formal analysis, but also in their social one. Outside the building is plain, it connects to the city in a subtly and linear way, while on the inside is hectic, with balconies overlooking the central collective court, the ultimate life daily scenography.



FLESSIBILITA [fles-si-bi-li-tà] s.f.

1. L’ essere flessibile, elastico, pieghevole (anche fig.): la - di una trave, di una struttura; - di carattere | - dei prezzi, capacità di adattarsi al mercato First of all we’re talking about structural flexibility, hence typological at the same time. A three concentric-supporting wall structure allows the distribution of the space horizontally, therefore makes it easy to make spaces differ one to each other, even when having a standard floor plan.



SERIALITA [se-ria-li-tà] s.f.

1. Carattere di ciò che è seriale It may seem similar to the previous topic, yet we are talking about a serial work if we just look at Broglio’s projects, who also gets back in his mimesis pursuit, but intends to compare the elements of his work. The window solutions are a particular subject of our research, therefore presumably of his one.



MIMESI [mi-me-si] s.f. 1. Imitazione

Mimesis is a word which has to be completed with a fundamental adjective: bourgeois. We’re talking about a peculiarity related to Broglio himself, whose work is a representation of bourgeois architecture; it’s in fact his intention to hide his social housing solution in the urban grid. The elements and forms he uses stress this choice, making it vital to look at this approach transversely, looking back at social architecture and housing, focusing not only on the one of that period.


Broglio’s pentagonal building


ABITANTE [a-bi-tĂ n-te] s.f. 1. (anche f.) Chi abita in un luogo SIN residente: una cittĂ  di 800 000 abitanti; (al pl.) cittadinanza, popolazione: gli a. di Genova

Over 100 years almost everything has changed between the inhabitants of yesterday and today. During this time also the space is lived differently. The tenor of the building itself led to a substantial change: from a working class neighborhood, it became a private apartment building. How could just this not affect the life and nature of the building itself?




She lives in Broglio’s building

She lives in a building very close to Broglio’s one

about worker from Milano 25 years old

about freelance from Naples 43 years old

Vivo qui da quando sono nata, i miei genitori hanno comprato questa casa quando avevano 30 anni. Da piccola non vedevo l’ora delle 16:00 per poter scendere a giocare in cortile con gli altri bambini del palazzo.

Sono mamma di due figli, il più piccolo ha 10 anni, l’altro ne ha 14 e giocano molto nel nostro cortile. Il più grande ha appena cominciato ad uscire la sera, mi sento tranquilla perchè è un quartiere sicuro. I have two children, the younger is 10 years old, the other one is 14 and they play a lot in out courtyard. The older one has just started to hang out with his friends in the evening, I agree with that because this is a very safe neighborhood.

I grew up in this neighborhood since I was born, my parents bought this flat when they were 30th years old. When I was younger I was always waiting for 16:00 to go in the courtyard to play with the other children living in the building.



Everyday, before coming home, he brings his grandson to the park very close to the school

She’s the doorkeeper of one of Broglio’s buildings

about retired from Milan 71 years old

about doorkeeper from Milan 36 years old

Mio nipote non abita molto lontano da qui, la scuola la si raggiunge tranquillamente a piedi. Mi piace portarlo al parco dopo le lezioni, li si ritrova con tutti i suoi amici e ne combinano di ogni!

Sono nata e cresciuta in questo palazzo. Quando ero piccola si giocava molto di più nel cortile; ora gli accessi sono regolati da orari definiti. In ogni caso, questo quartiere è una figata!

My grandson lives very close to here, the school is near and he can reach it by walk. I like bringing him at the park after school, here he can meet his friends and they always make a big din!

I was born and I grew up in this building. When I was a child, we used to play a lot in the courtyard; now the access to it is set by timetables. By the way, let me tell you that this district is amazing!



This is the neighborhood how it has been told us by the inhabitants. What are the most lived spaces? What are the reference points their daily life? The surroundings and the way everything is perceived also tell how a certain space is periceved and lived.

Sono appena uscito da messa mi piace andarci la mattina presto, per poi iniziare al meglio la mia giornata! I’ve just been to the church, I like going there early in the morning , then I can start my daily routine at my best! ENZ

850 M

Non ho la macchina e per me questo quartiere è molto comodo per spostarsi a piedi perchè offre praticamente ogni servizio necesario. I don’t own a car but for me it’s very convenient to go by walk because this neighborhood offers almost every kind of facilities. FRANCESCA

Di pomeriggio porto sempre il bambino a fare un giro a piedi con il passeggino senza problemi perchè il quartiere molto tranquillo e sicuro. During the afternoon I alway bring the baby for a walk without any problem because the neighborhood is very safe and quiet. KATIA

Via Pli n

Viale Abruzzi

Via Bronzino

Via Am ede o

D’A ost a


Piazza Carlo Erba

Ho la fermata del tram di fronte a casa, cosa vuoi di più? I have the tram stop next to my house, what else? ENZ0 oli

c Pas Via

Via Filippo Juvara

Via Luigi Vanvitelli


Io e la mia fami andiamo spesso cena qui vicino. Me and my fam often go out fo dinner in the neighborhood. LUDO

La scorsa estate abbiamo fatto in cortile ed è stato molto bello Last summer we organized a pa courtyard and we really enjoyed BA

Via Verroccchio

Piazza Ascoli

Via Pinturicchio


Ho frequentato il Liceo Virgilio, lo raggiungevo a piedi in 5 minuti. I attended Virigilio High School, just 5 minutes by walk from here. BIANCA



lz Ba

nr aE

Quando porto fuori mio nipote a giocare preferisco venire in questi giardini, meno affollati di quelli del Politecnico. I prefer bringing my grandson to this garden instead of Politecnico ones, it is less crowded. ENZO

a Vi


oè oN

Piazza Gianlorenzo Bernini

Piazza Piola

Mio papà ha il suo studio dentistico nel quartiere e va al lavoro a piedi o con la biciletta. My father has his own dental office very close to our house, so he usually go at work by walk or with his bicycle. FRANCESCA

Sp in


Via Bonardi

Via Carpaccio


Vi a


Piazza Leonardo Da Vinci



Andavo alle scuole elementari e medie con il bus. I went to elementary and middle school by bus. LUDOVICA

Via Diacono

Viale Romagna

Via Deffenu

Via Celoria

Via Guerrini



e e


c Pas Via


Via Pli nio una festa o! arty in the d it! ARBARA

Sono mamma di due figli, il più piccolo ha 10 anni, l’altro ne ha 14 e giocano molto nel nostro cortile. I have two children, the younger is 10 years old, the other one is 14 and they play a lot in out courtyard. FRANCESCA


Via Giuseppe Colombo


Piazza Giolitti

Viale Romagna

iglia oa . mily or

Quando non ho voglia di prendere la macchina, esco volentieri con gli amici per una birra qui vicino al Bar Matricola. When I’m to lazy to bring the car, I usually hang out for a beer with friends at Bar Matricola. BIANCA

from inside to outside



Broglio’s pentagonal building facing Piazza Erba






ground floor plans



general plans



Prospetto 11

12 11 13


front 11_external

Prospetto 11 Prospetto 13


12 12 12


13 13 13


14 14 14

13 A

11 11 11


front 13_internal

Prospetto 13



section AA’


Prospetto 11 Prospetto 11 Prospetto 11

Prospetto 12 Prospetto 12 Prospetto 12

Prospetto 13 Prospetto 13 Prospetto 13

Prospetto 14 Prospetto 14 Prospetto 14



pentagonal building_single apartament


building 2_single apartament

linear building_single apartament


Bibliography Pugliese R. (2005), La Casa Popolare in Lombardia: 1903-2003 , Milano, Edizioni Unicopli. AA.VV. (1929), L’Istituto per le Case Popolari di Milano e la sua opera tecnica dal 1909 al 1929, Milano, Tip. Bertieri. Bai G. (1984), IACPM: 1908-1983: Dal lavatoio solare, Milano, Istituto Autonomo Case Popolari. Pugliese R. (2005), La casa sociale: dalla Legge Luzzatti alle nuove politiche per la casa in Lombardia, Milano, Edizioni Unicopli. Grandi M., Pracchi A. (1998), Milano. Guida all’architettura moderna, Bologna, Zanichelli. Bonfanti E., Scolari M. (1982), La vicenda urbanistica e edilizia dell’Istituto Case Popolari di Milano dagli esordi alla seconda guerra mondiale, Milano, Clup. Tognoli C., Landoni E., Infussi F. (2008), 100 anni di edilizia residenziale pubblica a Milano, Milano, Litogì. AA.VV. (2006), Quando l’Umanitaria era in via Solari: 1906, Il primo quartiere operaio, a cura di Archivio Storico della Società Umanitaria, Milano, Raccolto Edizioni. Andreula M. (2010), Giovanni Broglio e l’edilizia popolare a Milano, 1905-1930, in “Milano città delle scienze”, Milano. AA.VV. (1970), I.A.C.P.M. Planimetrie, quartieri e villaggi giardino, Istituto Autonomo Case Popolari, Milano. Ghezzi L., Canavero A. (2013), Alle origini dell’Umanitaria, in atti Centoventesimo Anniversario dalla costituzione della Società Umanitaria, Milano.



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02-ReCoDe_Quartiere Vanvitelli  

Case study: Quartiere Vanvitelli Re Co.De! reshaping contemporary dwelling Thematic Design Studio - BA Architectural Design AUIC School -...

02-ReCoDe_Quartiere Vanvitelli  

Case study: Quartiere Vanvitelli Re Co.De! reshaping contemporary dwelling Thematic Design Studio - BA Architectural Design AUIC School -...