On 13 and 14 May, man at the centre of the 8th edition dedicated to virtuous projects that are redesigning the relationship between Milan and its inhabitants

Architecture, town planning, design: a complex three-way relationship that connects physical and social space, urban democracy, forms of social relations. Through each of these human activities, the designer seeks to introduce, in an existing context, a dynamic and critical variant characterised by specific procedures and original interpretations. The project then, if it is good, modifies reality, brings new awareness, unveils the unexpected, reveals the hidden possibilities of contents and forms, plays (sometimes subverting them) with the conventions of common language, invites reflection, sets in motion new relations between man, environment and territory.


Virtuous projects

Starting from man, Open House Milano dedicates its eighth edition to virtuous projects that are redesigning the relationship between the city and its inhabitants. Man at the centre, this is the title of the 2023 edition, invites us to discover a new and surprising Milan, under the sign of architecture. From the great urban redevelopment projects that are redesigning the city to the more intimate and private dimension of homes and studios. Fil rouge, the narrative of the city, of its spaces, of a rapidly renewing skyline. A narrative that stages a new design sensitivity, virtuous practices that spring from a renewed fertility of thought. A ferment that the event celebrates as urban humanism indicative of an all-round renaissance involving people's lifestyles.

An urban humanism

The city is a synthesis of this change: between architecture, design and town planning there are various expressions of the new relationship between man and his habitat. The urban humanism is given by concrete examples that the programme will develop through specific thematic paths: from the circuit dedicated to landscape architecture (with a focus on biodiversity and climate change) to the sharing of ideas and experiences as in the case of coworking spaces, from social housing (a system to facilitate the birth of housing communities and territorial connections) to art as an identity value of places and a tool to enhance public spaces.

Milan towards the future

From Vitruvian man to Le Corbusier's Modulor, man once again becomes the design measure of the wave of transformation that is changing the face of the city. The highlights of this edition show how Milan is travelling its trajectory towards the future with a renewed language that speaks of circularity, redevelopment, technology and inclusiveness. Thanks to prestigious partnerships, it will be possible to cross the threshold of places that are still completing their redevelopment, adding new neighbourhoods to the Lombard capital or new urban areas for community use. Here are some previews.

MonteRosa91: open to the city and art

Thanks to AXA Investment Managers, main partner of the eighth edition, it will be possible to have a preview visit of MonteRosa 91, the complex designed by Renzo Piano back in 2003 and now in the final stages of the redevelopment process. In addition to having gone through a process of energy efficiency and environmental impact reduction, the building has been redesigned to be a place open to the urban context in which it stands, welcoming the needs of the neighbourhood's inhabitants and the city community: a new nursery school, a gymnasium, a restaurant-cafeteria and an urban grove called the 'park of light' will be accessible and open to the public. Art is one of the design themes of MonteRosa91, which will house works of art in a permanent public art trail open to the public.

The urban regeneration of the Scalo Farini

FS Sistemi Urbani will open, exclusively for OHM, the Scalo Farini which is part of the larger Scali Milano project for the redevelopment of seven disused former railway yards (Farini, San Cristoforo, Romana, Greco-Breda, Lambrate, Rogoredo, Porta Genova). The largest urban regeneration plan that will affect Milan in the coming years and, with the opening of the site, the opportunity is given to observe the process in progress that will lead the area to become a new neighbourhood. Scalo Farini is located in a strategic area of the city where architecture, urban design, urban forestation and new infrastructures are the design pillars underpinning its reformulation. Not only that, thanks to the Take Your Time initiative, a recently inaugurated public art project, it will be possible to admire some site-specific artistic interventions.

Green spaces: architecture in motion

Space for landscape architecture, where green is the protagonist, making gardens an integral part of the architecture in which they are inserted. The perception of greenery as architecture in motion has made it possible to design in accordance with the natural growth of greenery, through technical expertise, design imagination and careful understanding of the environmental context. Thanks to the AG&P greenscape studio, founded by the landscape architect Emanuele Bortolotti, it will be possible to visit the green project of Merezzate, a social and collaborative housing complex in the Rogoredo district, while through architect Vittorio Peretto's Hortensia, the doors of LOM - Locanda Officina Monumentale, created in a former industrial and disused space that has brought light manufacturing back into the urban perimeter, will be opened.

NABA, a city within the city

As part of the Open House activities, NABA - Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti will open its campus on 13 May between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. (guided tours by appointment - info on Open House website). The complex consists of 14 1930s-style buildings that in 1894 formed the Istituto Sieroterapico Milanese and since 2004 have housed the academy: a city within the city.

Open studios

Visitors will also be able to visit the design spaces where ideas and innovation are born: among them, ACPV Architects Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel; Park Associati will allow visitors to get to know its studio and the innovative Open 336 project; Barreca&La Varra,, in addition to opening its own office, will participate with two social housing projects including 5Square and Aria - Ex Macello; GLA will open Horto + The Medelan in Piazza Cordusio; Piuarch will participate with the opening of its studio, also allowing visitors to visit the rooftop vegetable garden.

Open House Europe

The international Open House family is increasingly interconnected: new this year is the birth of Open House Europe, a three-year initiative co-funded by the European Union, to which Open House Milano has adhered, created to promote architecture in the old continent together with ten other realities of the Open House Worldwide network, promoters of Open House events in Athens, Bilbao, Brno, Dublin, Essen, Lisbon, Slovenia, Stockholm, Tallinn, Thessaloniki and Vilnius. Architecture becomes a field of investigation for new design configurations. In the three years of activities, topics such as sustainability, accessibility, inclusion and future architectural heritage will be explored. Activities will be organised across the continent, including annual conferences and a volunteer exchange programme, as well as the opening of a common digital platform.