The Quarto Cagnino District in Milan (1964-1973): Rationalist Figuration for a New Dimension of the Urban Space


  • Marco Lucchini Politecnico di Milano (Italia)


Palabras clave:

Social housing districts, Milan, outskirt, dwellings architectural design, modernist architecture, Quarto Cagnino


The Quarto Cagnino district, like other Milanese social housing settlements, has a distinctly marked identity and, as with any other archi- tectural work, its framework calls for formulating a well-founded judgement based on the understanding of its context and the reasons that led the designers towards specific choices in form. The district designed for 1100 dwellings (approximately 5000 inhabitants) was built in two distinct phases between 1964 and 1973. Regarding the settlement plan, the Quarto Cagnino appears as a largely scaled construction organised into one main building, to which are connected four aligned buildings, perpendicular to the main body and alternately placed on either side. Quarto Cagnino faces with the problem of the integration of the dwellings providing an adequate amount of services, of which the scarcity had been one of the deficiencies of large popular districts. The image of the large dam, referring also explicitly to the theme of city walls, was associated with the idea of a constant permeability. The stereometric and Cartesian volumes of the buildings are built upon a powerful base of reinforced concrete that seems to lift itself from the ground thanks to a grid of cylindrical pillars. The open plan of the ground floor is an obvious reference to Le Corbusier and his Unité d’habitation quoted almost literally. The open ground floor enables se- condary roads to be drawn underneath the buildings, emphasizing the image of the great structure that connects with communication ne- tworks and guarantees a good development of service activities: some to the scale of the district such as primary and secondary schools, gymnasiums and the church, others to the scale of the building itself such as common spaces in which to gather.


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Biografía del autor/a

Marco Lucchini, Politecnico di Milano (Italia)

Marco Lucchini (Milano, 1969). Politecnico di Milano. Department of Architecture and Urban Studies. Graduated in architecture at Faculty of Architecture of Politecnico of Milan, in 1995. Since 2006 he is assistant professor in architecture and urban design at Department of Architecture and Urban, where he teaches Architectural Design at School of Architecture and Society both in Master and in Bachelor. He is in the board of Phd programme in Architectural, Urban and Interior Design. Among his works: Lucchini, Marco: Oltre Babele. Architetture per linguaggi vivi. Milano-Udine: Mimesis 2012. Lucchini, Marco: Architettura moderna e contemporanea in Sardegna 1930-2008. Cagliari: Aisara, 2009. Lucchini, Marco; Pugliese, Raffaele: (ed.) Milano città d’acqua. Nuovi paesaggi urbani per la tutela dei Navigli. Firenze: Alinea, 2009. Lucchini ,Marco: “The metaphor, images and shape in architecture” in Architektura i Urbanistyka Architektura w kreacji tożsamości miasta. 2010. N°. 22, Poznan: Zeszyty Naukowe Politechniki Poznańskiej. Lucchini, Marco: “Spazi e forme nel paesaggio”, in Ottagono. Gennaio 2010. N°. 231. Bologna: Editrice Compositori. Bucci, Federico; Lucchini, Marco: “Luigi Carlo Daneri, Eugenio Fuselli, Quartiere residenziale Forte Quezzi, Genova 1956-68”. In Casabella . Settembre 2010, N°. 793. Milano: Electa.


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Cómo citar

Lucchini, M. (2015). The Quarto Cagnino District in Milan (1964-1973): Rationalist Figuration for a New Dimension of the Urban Space. ZARCH. Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Architecture and Urbanism, (5), 108–121.



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