Project Description

Roncello is a small town in the northern sector of the Martesana Adda area in the east of the province of Milan. Formerly devoted entirely to agriculture, Roncello has undergone the same fate as many other towns in this part of the territory, with strong residential expansion around a small historical centre of clearly rural appearance. This growth has not allowed the territory to develop adequate structures and the breadth of the expansion has not proved able in itself to shape the public structure of the municipality. The small square on which the church stands is certainly unable to bear the weight of the new part of the town, and the building of the new town hall on a site away from the old centre has increased the sense of impoverishment in terms of public space and places of public interest and importance.
Designed to offer a continuous series of spaces, places for relations, structures for public use and green areas, the project involves a number of central areas near the church square, the farmhouse that closes the south side (already the object of a redevelopment project) and the space behind it as well as various more peripheral areas. Its purpose is to increase the availability of free, public areas equipped for social relations and thus increase public interaction between the inhabitants. To this end, it alters the zoning of the areas involved, transferring building rights from the central areas to the outskirts so as to free land and design a new series of publics spaces.

The focal point is the construction of the new town hall and refurbishment of the small library. The project reflects on the nature of the construction of a public area and a new public building in a stylistically chaotic context. For this reason, it works on the essential characteristics of the town as built up over the years, taking up key elements like the main square, the belfry and the portico as well as characteristic architectural features like the fretted brick façade, the shallow pitched roofs and the arcade. The result is a major complex of restrained monumentality.

The public structures, first and foremost the town hall and belfry, express the centrality of the area and the importance of the functions they accommodate. The open areas connect all the corners involved in the project with those of the existing territory, which takes on new meaning only in this way. The buildings not erected on the project areas are shifted to more recent residential contexts, which also see an increase in green space and connections with the system of cycle paths. The project thus engages in dialogue with the territory and offers it the possibility of a small new centrality of monumental character with forms capable of giving new significance it its surroundings, again by harnessing the potential of the territorial and urban approach to the architectural project.

Project by FDA International – Professional Firm