Designed and built in the mid 1930s by Mario Cereghini, this important example of Milanese Rationalist design remained vacant in a state of abandon for a long period after having been home to the renowned Milanese Cinema Arti for many years. The restoration project will soon begin work on converting the building into a hotel. The internal layout will be redesigned for its new function, and new additions will be built to house technical services and necessary emergency exit structures.
The edifice is a protected cultural heritage building, so all intervention will be focussed on conservation and respecting its original character. Any new elements introduced will be designed to maintain close and recognisable links with the historical layers of the building. This project can be definitely classified as “critical and interpretative restoration”, an expression typical of the Milanese, or Italian, restoration procedure in general, which Arassociati has always considered a fundamental aspect of its work. For this reason, the architects have decided to preserve a central void that incorporates a part of the theatre’s balcony in the area of the ex-auditorium, to recall the building’s original function.
As well as the internal reconstruction of the main building, and the facade restoration, as described above, several additional structures will modify the original contour of the building for technical purposes and to contain the emergency staircases. Parts of these additions are clad with bronze-coloured perforated panels in a geometrical design to give the new structures a homogeneous skin, while making them discernable as contemporary additions. An integrated part of the project involves the redesigning and improvements to the garden which will become an important outdoor space for the hotel. Many historical trees have been preserved, and a decorative fountain, previously placed against a demolished boundary wall, has been repositioned. On the ground floor, the two separate entrances of the former Cinema Arti will be preserved.
One will give access to the reception lobby, and the other will lead to the restaurant located on the lower floor, that is accessed by a new staircase. The ground floor will also house an elevator directly connected with a roof terrace for events. The route across the lobby and the ex-auditorium leads to a large indoor garden. The void in the centre of the former theatre forms the distribution system to the first and second floors. This was achieved taking advantage of the vast height of the void area, which becomes a scenographic feature of the entire project.
YEAR: 2020-in progress
TYPOLOGY: Restoration and extension
CLIENT: ONB Mode S.r.l.
WITH: Studio Berlucchi
COLLABORATORS: Giulia Zambon, Carlotta Puleo
Milan, Italy