Westway Architects (Luca Aureggi, Maurizio Condoluci) and Stefano Pavia recently completed an interesting renovation project in Milan. The architects transformed a low-cost housing block, a typical railway workers’ building from the early 1920s, into a contemporary vertical loft with a system of staircases inspired by the impossible constructions of M.C. Escher.
The architects preserved the building’s original outer walls with their windows and overall layout, but completely transformed the technical installations, structure and layout inside it. The architects modelled the home to suit the client’s specific needs and gave it a sophisticated home automation system.
The building is vertically oriented, with five floors served by two separate staircases built against the building’s longitudinal weight-bearing walls, and each staircase consists of a single flight of stairs only 80 cm wide. The architects drew their inspiration for the staircase from the impossible constructions of M.C. Escher.
The vertical connection between the different levels and functions in the home is an obligatory zig-zag involving climbing one flight of stairs, crossing the floor, climbing another flight of stairs, and so on, recalling the famous Dutch graphic artist’s engravings. On the whole, Westway Architects’ creation is a perfect system in which all the elements and materials balance one another and contribute to the fluid spaces of the home; for example, the small staircase leads to a wide landing, an open space with no doors or cabinets.
Design: Westway Architects (Luca Aureggi, Maurizio Condoluci) in collaboration with Stefano Pavia.
Location: Milan, Italy
Images courtesy of Westway Architects photo by Andres Otero/LUZphoto