Perimeter block, infill
Mercadante
Bottoni, Piero | Milan, Italy | 1934-35
Image of Mercadante
Corner (south) facade

ProjectMercadante
ArchitectBottoni, Piero
CityMilan
CountryItaly
AddressVia Mercadante 11, Via C Gomes
Building TypePerimeter block, infill
Number of Dwellingsc. 15
Date Built1934-35
Dwelling Types2-4 BR flats
No. Floors6
Section Typeflats
Exterior Finish
Materials
stucco, travertine, metal, wood windows
Construction TypeRC-frame
Ancillary Servicesbasement parking

Piero Bottoni was the Italian delegate to the CIAM conferences in 1929 and 1930 and he returned to Milan with new ideas about the recent building in France and Germany. In the 4th Triennale (1930) he exhibited with "Gruppo 7" in the early Rationalist confrontation with the neo-classicists. Later he was a member of "Quadrante", a group promoting modern architecture in Italy and Bottoni was active in several large planning competitions for new quartiere in Milan in the mid-1930's. After WWII he was part of the group "AR" (Architetti Riuniti) which made a proposal for the reconstruction of Milan. Called "piano AR", this plan was published in Casabella in 1944 and this lead to an idea competition for a new master plan for the city, the PRG (Piano Regolatore de Milano). Bottoni was very active in the planning and design of several of the large new social housing projects west of the central city in the period after the War including the experimental development for the 8th Triennale called "QT8" (quartiere sperimentale della T8), in 1946, several INA Casa projects, including INA Casa Harrar of 1951-55, and the early planning for the Gallaratese quarter (famous for the buildings there by Carlo Aymonino and Aldo Rossi) in the 1960's. In addition to the activities regarding the planning and urban development of the city of Milan for over 30 years, Bottoni was also a prolific writer, publishing a more-or-less constant series of articles appearing in Quadrante, La Casa, Casabella, Domus, and Metron. Typically, Bottoni worked in association with other architects on large projects and his influence was especially important in planning for the growth of Milan. Figini & Pollini, but somewhere to the left of Gio Ponti and the men of BBPR. This is clearly a modern, but straightforward six-story stucco building on the oblique corner of a perimeter block site. An entrance to one side of the corner leads up a few steps to a central lobby that is served by two stairs and elevators. The large flats are arranged with rooms double-loaded along an interior hallway with main rooms facing the street. The corner is expressed in the massing of the building that is a full six floors high at the corner, but steps back at the sides at the top floor creating a penthouse condition and small terraces facing the street. The corner is further expressed by a cantilevered zone of windows and balconies that extends out over the sidewalk on the upper five floors. This forms an enlarged bay window that is expressed as the void of the balconies at the edges, but a blank wall that turns the corner. The continuation of this surface is implied at the sides by the surfaces of small balconies cantilevered forward of the main mass of the building. Within the implied depth of the layered facades the building maintains a simple, planer surface with carefully thought-out windows and details. Although originally white, the balconies and cantilevered layers have recently been painted a different color, a notion obviously inconsistent with the original Rationalist qualities of the facades.

Consonni, Giancarlo, Lodovico Meneghetti & Graziella Tonon, Piero Bottoni: opera completa, Fabbri Editori, Milano, 1990, pp. 230-31.

Grandi, Maurizio, & Attilio Pracchi, Milano: Guida all 'architettura moderna, Zanichelli Editori, Bologna, 1980, p. 164, 182.

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