Slab, corridorSlab, gallery-access, skip stop
INA Casa Harrar/Bottoni
Bottoni, Piero, Mario Marini & Carlo Villa | Milan, Italy | 1951-55
Image of INA Casa ...
Partial street (west) facade

ProjectINA Casa Harrar/Bottoni
ArchitectBottoni, Piero, Mario Marini & Carlo Villa
AddressVia S. Giusto,Via Navara,Via Harrar
Building TypeSlab, gallery-access, skip stop
Number of Dwellingsc. 150
Date Built1951-55
Dwelling Typesflats and maisonettes
No. Floors6
Section Typeflats and maisonettes
Exterior Finish
concrete, stucco, glass, wood shutters
Construction TypeRC frame
Ancillary Servicesstorage at first floor

Piero Bottoni, along with Luigi Figini and Gino Pollini, were the principal architects of this early Istituto Nazionale per le Assicurazione (INA Casa) development along Via Harrar on the western edge of Milan (see Reggio & Tevarotto and Figini & Pollini for more details). The project consists of several long slabs, several groups of 2-story single family dwellings, and a school on a difficult, triangular site at a major street intersection. The gallery-access slabs used on the Harrar site are a display of different prototypical solutions for this building type and were quite unique in the Italian housing experience at this time. The maisonette dwellings types used here, an example of the application of the immeubles villas concept of Le Corbusier, are also quite unusual for Italian social housing.

Two long, low (6 floors), freestanding slabs, aligned east/west, are mixed with groups of lower single family dwellings. Internal stairs provide access to open galleries on the west side of the buildings which serve a floor of flats on the first level and two levels of maisonettes on the four top floors. The gallery functions as a public terrace allowing ample light to entrance and kitchen spaces along the gallery. Living areas open to balconies facing east and bedrooms extend out over the gallery on the upper level of the maisonettes. The ground floor is used for entrance and tenant storage. The simple frame structure is expressed in those zones of both facades where the exterior surface has been eroded for balconies and galleries. Virtual surface, however, is maintained by using small repetitive windows and by treating balustrades as part of the building surface implied by the wide horizontal zones of stucco. The results are the very plastic, three-dimensional composition of layered facades that simultaneously express the narrow structural bays as partially exposed while using the windows to create secondary contrapuntal rhythms. The alternating solid/void quality of both facades clearly expresses the internal organization of flats and maisonettes.

Anguissola, Luigi Beretta, I 14 Anni de Piano INACASA, Staderini Editore, Roma, 1963, pp. 218-221.

Grandi, Maruzio & Attilio Pracchi, Milano: Guide all'architettura Moderna, Zanichelli, Bologna, 1980, pp. 254-55, 274.

Consonni, Giancarlo, Ludovico Meneghetti & Graziella Tonon, Piero Bottoni; opera completa, Fabbri Editori, Milano, 1990, pp. 130-31, 360-61.

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