Westway Architects vertical loft in Milan

Westway Architects,

Andres Otero,


Housing, Loft, Residences,



Fascinated by Escher’s impossible constructions, architects Luca Aureggi and Maurizio Condoluci (Westway Architects), in collaboration with architect Stefano Pavia, have created a system of staircases inspired by the Dutch engraver’s creations for the renovation of a low-cost housing block in Milan.

Westway Architects vertical loft in Milan

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.

(Agnese Bifulco)

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


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