Redeveloping Cordusio. The Elegance of Old Milan

One of the most important historical redevelopment projects of PLANIUM SRL

24 giugno 2022 di Luigi Luca Borrelli
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One of the most important historical redevelopment projects of PLANIUM SRL involved a nineteenth-century complex of strenuous elegance in Milan. It should not be forgotten that the Lombard capital, beyond the contemporary fame it enjoys thanks to "pushed" media (speed, globalization, work, etc.) manages to reserve architectural surprises everywhere - a little hidden - worthy of the most beautiful European cities. A stone's throw from the Duomo and the Ambrosiana Library, on the corner of Via Orefici and Via Cantů, in Cordusio, stands the late nineteenth-century building which has acquired a dual function, directional and retail, with the redevelopment. The project was conceived and coordinated by the Barreca & La Varra architecture studio in Milan and carried out by the general contractor Nessi & Majocchi Spa; the intervention area covers an impressive 12,000 m˛.


The internal courtyard of the building overlooking Via Cantů has acquired, after the redevelopment, a new glass roof from which the light that falls inside filters through. And here PLANIUM comes into play directly. The pillars and beams were covered with champagne-colored anodized aluminum plates. The metal plates were cut and pre-shaped in the production departments to then be applied on site.

Like other brand projects, in this case the technologies applied in the industrial transformation of metals and the company's special projects have found the synergy and support of the parent company, TERENZI SRL.

PLANIUM immediately cooperated with the architecture studio for an adaptation of the joint system of the project, with a major work on site in order to define the load-bearing structure. As for aluminum, the choice of this material certainly falls on its malleability and lightness (it has a density equal to 1/3 of that of steel), but in addition to being easily workable for these reasons it is also a material with a strong resistance to corrosion. The basic modules of the paneling are divided between cladding, core and fasteners.

The ecological project is obviously designed for a long duration over time: the solid-colored metallic aspect is reinvigorated by the anodization of the aluminum in a harmonious and relaxing color that refers to the shining times of old Europe, with Milan still divided between the legacy of the past Habsburg Empire and the nascent united Italy.

Gianandrea Barreca and Giovanni La Varra say:

"We wanted to maintain the centrality of the courtyard, making it an opportunity for a contemporary double-sided graft, creating a double-height environment with a volumetrically complex steel and glass roof: the new roof is transparent and allows light to pass through the commercial ground floor, but it is mirrored towards the upper floors destined to offices, so as to multiply and reflect the exteriors of the buildings that overlook them. The cladding of the ground floor in golden metal panels creates an unexpected casket, which is only possible to glimpse from the outside. The correspondence of the structural elements was taken from the step of the openings, already coordinated in the existing with the design of the courtyard flooring; the plant terminals are integrated into a sober and minimal design".

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