Luca Rotondo - Santa Giulia ora pro nobis.
Santa Giulia, Milan, January 2013
The reorganization plan for the district Milano Santa Giulia , historic home of the tertiary sector in Milan, developing over a total surface area of approximately 1,200,000 m2, among the outlying villages of Rogoredo and Morsenchio , which until a few years ago hosted respectively Redaelli steel mills and Montedison’s chemical plants , stands as the most extensive redevelopment of old industrial areas in Europe. The project, edited by the archistar Norman Foster, involved a total investment of 2.8 billion euro, with the aim of creating the ”city within a city” , as it was defined by planners and investors.
Problems were however on their way. According to the surveys , the aquifer was found polluted by substances dangerous for the environment and health. The reclaiming of the entire area, infact, has been performed just partially. Since 2010, the district has been half fenced, waiting for the completion of reclamations.
The current status of the project Montecity sees the district divided into two areas: one with buildings built on soils and aquifers heavily polluted and poorly drained, and the other with no destination, never reclaimed and waiting for somebody determine it’s destination.
Santa Giulia, Milan, August 2013
In 6 months almost nothing has changed: the Santa Giulia district is growing at a pace so slow that there seems to be no apparent change.
Only some small details are noticeable: some of the hurdles were moved a couple of meters back, now the park seems more like a park than it was before. Santa Giulia is still a no man’s land. Silent and empty. Santa Giulia is patiently waiting for it’s disease to end, with no rush, step by step, small spaces are reassigned to the community.
But if you look around, along the arid borders of the district, you’ll see that in the end Santa Giulia is nothing more than the beautiful prisoner of a hostile land, indifferent to what grows on it.
The luxury homes designed by Foster, with their bright colors and white concrete pillars stand as strangers to what’s slowly happening around them.
They don’t need to be taken care of, so perfect and bright like an oasis, they watch the slow growth of this dream city which matures piece by piece.