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Five international teams for Farini and San Cristoforo. Works are about to start on Milan’s old rail yards

22 December, Corriere della Sera

Five international teams have been selected out of fifty candidates to design the requalification project of the former Farini and San Cristoforo rail yards. One group is headed by the Italian studio Baukuh, a very young (everybody is below 40 years of age) and innovative team, known for the project of the House of Memory. There is the Dutch Oma of Rem Koolhaas (famous in Milan for the Prada Foundation), and Arup Italia together with the Norwegian Snohetta, the creators of the “new” Times Square and of the Library of Alexandria. There is also the internationally-known team of Kengo Kuma from Japan, as well as that of Nicholas Grimshaw, one of the leading exponents of contemporary British architecture.

The teams are transversally and internationally organised. They will have to combine several skills: from landscaping to business and urban planning. They will compete to access the bid launched by Fs Sistemi Urbani and led by Carlo De Vito and Coima Sgr with Manfredi Catella. The five teams will work on the masterplan. In April, a panel headed by Dominique Perrault (the architect that signed the Olympic district in Paris) and supervised by Leopoldo Freyrie will nominate the winner which will be awarded 50 thousand euro, besides a reimbursement of 25 thousand granted to all the participants. At that point, the masterplan will be evaluated by the public and the structure of the plan will be ready by the summer.

The masterplan will be presented to the market to find partners, sponsors and developers. The works will start in 2021, but the area will accommodate the Fine Arts campus, also known as Brera 2, starting already from next year. The Academy will be temporarily located in a warehouse occupying an area of 25 thousand Sq m. It will accommodate lecture halls for 1,500 students and an exposition area. The team implementing the masterplan, however, will have to include other 10 thousand Sq m for its expansion.

The call for tenders concerns two portions of Farini (one public and the other private, facing on Valtellina) as well as the San Cristoforo. This latter will become an “urban oasis”, as it will be entirely occupied by green spaces, while 65% of Farini (600 thousand Sq m in total) will be covered by parks. About 400 thousand Sq m of buildable area will be destined to housing, including rents at regulated prices destined to people under 35 years. There will also be a district occupied by public offices for a total of 70 thousand Sq m expandable to 110 thousand Sq m to accommodate 6,500 employees. The district will rise in an area propriety of the City of Milan in Via Cenisio right beside the tracks. The project is valued 200 million euro, and it’s meant to gather all the local offices. The small area owned by Coima Sgr (60 thousand Sq m towards Via Valtellina) might see the arrival of Istituto Marangoni, Naba and Domus Academy.

The seven rail yards cover a total area of one million and 250 thousand Sq m in a strategic position. Besides Farini, there is Greco (the project and the winner will be disclosed on February) and Porta Romana. For this latter, the bid will be published in the second half of the year, and it might host the Olympic village in case Milan wins the 2026 Olympic games. Finally, Porta Genova will host temporary activities.

Source: Corriere della Sera

Translator: Cristina Ambrosi

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