Residenze Carlo Erba, the new sinuous lines of Milan

With that “S” shape that recalls the modern suburbs of Northern European cities but also of New York inspiration, the Carlo Erba Residences in Milan have managed in a very short time to become a true icon of Città Studi, the neighborhood in which they are located .

Arranged over 9 floors and overlooking a garden in Piazza Carlo Erba, they reflect the redevelopment of the Lombard capital, which aims to give new life not only to the center but throughout its urban fabric. The Residences were completed in 2019, with a remarkable architectural project coordinated and managed by the studio Degli Esposti Architetti, and with the involvement of Eisenman Architects and AZ Studio. The sinuous shape is new for Milan, and in the minds of the designers it represents being able to “fit” perfectly within the pre-existing environment.

The building, obviously not in its new guise, was in the past the “home” of the offices of La Rinascente, the Zurich group, the Rizzoli publishing house and Espresso. Of its original appearance, the building has preserved only the facade, the one overlooking Piazza Carlo Erba, which has remained intact including its wrought iron door and decorated windows. From then on, the architects dared, with a building developed with different materials and different finishes.

Finally today Piazza Carlo Erba can be said to be redeveloped. However, the path was not easy, given that the works began in 2012 and were the victim of a long stop. The bureaucratic process was long and tortuous, just like the shape of the building. Today, however, living in the Carlo Erba residences means experiencing a luxury Milan a stone’s throw from the center, in a New York-style urban style solution that provides apartments with sizes ranging from two-room to multi-room apartments on the upper floors. Each apartment inside is unique, and follows the shape of the building, and therefore the walls have rounded corners as if to follow the main structure.

The Residences

The building of the Carlo Erba Residences is spread over a total area of 19,000 square meters, a few steps from the main headquarters of the Milan Polytechnic. The architecture marks the urban landscape, moving away from the typical linearity of Milanese (and Italian) buildings, but in total harmony with the surrounding buildings.

The entire project was developed on a triangular lot, surrounded by buildings dating from the early twentieth century to the seventies. The contrast is such that the Carlo Erba Residences stand out even from a distance, thanks both to the characteristic S shape and to its external appearance.

The building is in fact made up of slightly staggered horizontal bands, to give the entire structure a particular stratification. In particular, the first three floors are covered in travertine, as if to continue the neighboring buildings, while the fourth floor is built further back, between recessed openings and balconies. The third layer forms the fifth and sixth floors, and is composed of enamelled metal frames, while the last layer reaches the ninth floor and houses the stepped profile of a series of urban villas, equipped with large terraces.

Speaking of terraces, the fifth to ninth floors are built forward of the west facade of the building, shifted with respect to the floors below, with the dual purpose of giving the structure dynamism and at the same time offering space for the balconies.

As far as materials are concerned, there is room for imagination: they range from custom-made wooden boiserie to natural oak parquet floors for the interiors, while the lighting has been designed to enhance the pre-existing historic facade and the new complex, with a LED lighting placed in the external false ceiling of the fourth floor terraces.

Cover photo credits are by Marco De Bigontina – Drone Experience

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