When the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR) came into existence in 2021 through the convergence of national and European proposals, Italy, along with the rest of the world, sought to emerge from the physically, socially, emotionally, and professionally challenging pandemic period caused by the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus.
Having faced the profound changes imposed on all of us by health needs, the PNRR embodied the perspective of recovery and revitalization of the country that had matured during the quarantine period and was enriched with new perspectives, oriented towards the sustainability of our way of life and the increased digitization in all economic and social sectors.
In BMS, that period was characterized by exceptional work continuity, thanks to the commitment of all members of our team and the innovation and digitization process of the company, tools, and operational methods. This allowed our entire group to continue operating from their respective residences.
The PNRR was the expected sign in a perspective of returning to the course, destined to impact the country’s development, and for this reason, it was necessary to participate with great energy and conviction to contribute. In particular, we focused on projects that best met the characteristics of our project approach, in which urban regeneration, interdisciplinary integration, innovation, digitization, energy efficiency, environmental sustainability, and low-cost quality are themes that are part of the company’s current DNA and are the continuous commitment of all our professionals.
Representative in this regard is the case of the project proposed by the Municipality of Novara for the realization of a social housing nucleus, in the area previously occupied by the construction site of the TAV Milan Turin. It is a project of great interest where the intention of the Municipality was to transform the situation of degradation and marginalization that had been defined in that portion of the territory into a new opportunity for redemption and rebirth for the entire local community.
Fig. 1 – Zenith photograph of the base camp for the construction of the TAV Milan-Turin
The project involves the creation of a new social residential settlement intended for families or young couples, often excluded from the traditional housing market, to offer a segment of the city that can become an open social laboratory and create an ideal context where the themes of experimentation and inclusion become the true center of the project.
Here, alongside social, economic, and cultural aspects, issues related to the conception and realization of the physical context could also become vehicles for bold proposals that bring together optimization of living quality, excellent technical characteristics, economic sustainability, safety, and a strong architectural identity.
Fig. 2 – Preliminary Masterplan based on the competition
It is on all these themes that BMS has worked, in collaboration with other working groups, to offer the future inhabitants of the neighborhood a place that, despite its essential characteristics, allows for high living standards, characterized by well-being, architectural quality, and richness of urban space.
This starts from the project of the space designated for public greenery, which, with its 31,000 sqm, is certainly one of the protagonists of the intervention. At the request of the designers, the Municipality entrusted it to a specialized landscape design studio, so that it could become a new opportunity in the construction of a quality public space within the neighborhood.
Fig. 3 – Masterplan developed by the winning team of the 3 Competitions
But even more directly, BMS has committed itself to the study and design of the prototype of a residential building, which served as the basis to be adapted into three different types out of the five planned within the masterplan, also modifying the plan-volumetric layout to enrich the urban image of the buildings as a whole: we are talking in particular about types A, B, and C, with 4, 2, and 8 apartments respectively.
The prototype, designed on pilotis as required by the Municipality for greater safety of the inhabitants, included:
- The reconfiguration of the planimetric arrangement of the buildings to make the open space more fluid and interconnected, with pathways, widenings, squares, and green areas.
- The creation of a stereometric and prismatic envelope that broke the repetitiveness of the starting pattern with an asymmetrical profile and compositional structure of the facades.
- High-quality interior spaces, with dimensions and characteristics that enhance the usability and functionality of individual units.
- A complete system of building services, including both winter and summer air conditioning, internet connection, and every other comfort that ensures the well-being of the inhabitants.
From the careful development of the design drivers, an aggregate has emerged that, by overlaying our design experiences on the theme of newly conceived residential neighborhoods, has achieved the goal of recreating, even in seemingly peripheral contexts, a quality of living and urbanity entirely compatible with those of private building projects in more central areas, thanks to careful analysis, comparison, and synthesis.
Fig. 10 – Rendered views of residential buildings of types A, B, and C integrated into the Masterplan
It is a result that makes us particularly proud and is the merit of a cohesive design team with diverse skills that have been able to find synthesis within the project. At the same time, it is necessary to emphasize that this is also the result of the constructive and open interaction we have had both with the Municipality of Novara and with the other consultants who have worked on the project, allowing us to contribute decisively to the successful outcome of this project that we trust will maintain, at the end of construction, the quality that we have sought, imagined, and wanted.
For this, we thank our team: Leonardo Berretti (DM BMS Architecture), Marco Serra (DM BMS Structures), Salvatore Mele, Andrea Nicita, Anaelle Ravez, Giacomo Zucchiatti.
We conclude by mentioning all the members of the three working groups involved in the project:
Lot 1 and general coordination – RINA, Corvino + Multari, DFP Engineering, Arethusa
Lot 2 – 3TI Progetti, Seingim, Integrated Services
Lot 3 – BMS Progetti, Recchi Engineering, eFM