The project involved the complete renovation of the building called CASA MADRE, located within the area owned by the Pontificio Istituto Missioni Estere – PIME in Milan. The religious institute, which has been working with its missionaries since 1850 for poor people in numerous countries, has decided to transform the property into its new headquarter and new cultural center dedicated to exhibitions, meetings, information and entertainment to raise awareness on the non-European peoples and cultures came into contact with missionaries.
The project involved the complete renovation of the interior spaces by setting up a new distribution layout and replacing all the plant networks. The second floor and part of the first floor remained dedicated to the fathers’ residence and to the collective and service spaces supporting this function while the ground floor and part of the first are intended for the institute’s offices and the General Management. On the ground floor some spaces have been maintained to serve the fathers’ residence such as the refectory, the kitchen and the chapel, a conference room and a small library / reading room for public use have also been added. In the basement, all the internal walls were removed and all the fillings of the arches that were built to delimit the different rooms used as storage and cellars were eliminated, the choices allowed to highlight the structural arches that regularly mark the internal space. This floor houses the Peoples and Cultures Museum, the Bottega del Mondo bookshop and fair trade shop and a coffee shop, while a multipurpose room has been created from an appendix of the Casa Madre, used for socio-cultural activities and educational workshops connected to the museum and with an independent entrance. To complete the intervention, the external areas of relevance were arranged and, the transformation of the basement with the transfer of the new cultural functions, required the creation of new accesses to the floor directly from the outside. On the main front of via Monte Rosa a semi-circular underground space for entry and entrance has been created, affected by a light metal walkway that leads to the main entrance on the ground floor.
in collaboration with Alterstudio Partners
Pontificio Istituto Missioni Estere
Architecture, Structures, MEP Engineering, construction supervision, safety coordination
sqm 6.560 - outdoor sqm 3.200