On April 12, 2019 the ecologically and economically revitalized future of two abandoned rail yards in Milan, Italy became clear. The masterplan created by two designers at Rotterdam-based OMA—Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli and Reinier de Graaf (co-designed with Laboratorio Permanente)—won the Concorso Farini competition.
The plan, called Agenti Climatici (Climatic Agents) shows how green redevelopment of the two disused railway yards North and South of the periphery of Milan—-Scalo Farini and San Cristoforo—will be brought back to life as a productive, healthful part of the community.
The Agenti Climatici proposal designates the Scalo Farini site as a green zone and the San Cristoforo site as a blue zone.
Both work as ecological filters: the green zone contains a vast park which cools hot winds coming from the south-west, purifying the air of toxic particles; the large basin in the blue zone cleans the groundwater and creates a landscape for both humans and animals.
In this new value system, public space – including water, greenery and bridges – is fixed, and buildings are residual and uncertain.
In Farini, the scale of developments is contingent on the city’s future economic developments, creating an adaptable and resilient spatial framework that can respond to the shocks of national politics and the global economy.
Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli said “In a moment of dramatic environmental transformation and permanent economic uncertainty, our priorities have changed. The most valuable currency is no longer ‘brick’ – the built – but rather the climatic conditions that cities will be able to provide and ensure for their citizens. The city of the twentieth century, with its high energy consumption, must be overcome by reconsidering the principles that have marked urban development since the classical era.”
The competition was organized by public transport companies Ferrovie dello Stato, FS Sistemi Urbani S.r.l. and RFI, in collaboration with the municipality of Milan, the Lombardy region and developer Coima SGR. Other finalists in the competition included Baukuh, Arup, Grimshaw and Kengo Kuma and Associates Europe.
OMA’s team consisted of Laboratorio Permanente (IT), Vogt Landscape Architects (CN), Philippe Rahm Architectes (FR), Net Engineering (IT), Ezio Micelli (IT), Arcadis I12, talia (IT), Temporiuso.net (IT) and Luca Cozzani (IT).
All renderings courtesy of OMA.