Giulio Barazzetta + SBG architects – Detailed cross section as the main architectural design device toward construction



The Restoration Design of Mater Misericordiae Church

The restoration of the church of Nostra Signora della Misericordia in Baranzate sets out to re-establish its image, adapting it to the requested functions and comforts while taking the building opened in November 1958 as its point of reference. This project is the rewriting of the same work by the authors, joined by other designers they have selected: a very particular condition of restoration that suggests redefinition of the term itself. What remains of the original building inside that of the present constitutes the indispensable thread to be followed in this work, alongside the iconography found in the drawings of Mangiarotti, Morassutti and Favini, and in publications, but in this case documented in an extraordinary way by the photographs of Giorgio Casali, taken together with the designers starting in the worksite phase.
In our design work we have identified the indoor-outdoor diaphragm as the feature that embodies this dialogue. The walls and the facades, the layers between the floors and the existing structure or the terrain, are seen as the only possible places for the new installations and new constructive elements. The shift between the old and the new happens in the space created inside the border, inside the layers of material. The perception of this architecture happens from outside the material. This is an interpretation of restoration that questions the difference between true and plausible, which at the same time resides in the materials, inside the construction. For the whole architectural complex, first of all this has meant conservation of the structure and of the building as a whole, also with the transformations imposed by uses and circumstances, adding new spaces only where it is truly possible. For the new facings, this has meant patient, careful sampling to find the degree of imitation of the original with new materials in pursuit of the necessary perceptive result, to suggest the effects of the original facade in the absence of the plastic insulating material crossed by the light. A game enlivened by light, organised in the layers and characteristics of the glazings, carefully balancing the materials to obtain an effective possibility of reflection, refraction and opalescence, constantly varied, multiple, multiform.

1. 1956_1958
Design and construction of the original complex
Angelo Mangiarotti, Bruno Morassutti and Aldo Favini

The original facing panel of the project in 1956 and its experimental deployment on the worksite in 1958, documented in the images of the finished building and its existing material evidence, was the result of the assembly of two panes of “ribbed” poured industrial glass with prism sections on the inner side, around a low-density white expanded polystyrene panel.

2. 1979_1980
Re-design and reconstruction of the cladding. Addition of the bell tower
B. Morassutti and A. Favini with the agreement of A. Mangiarotti

The original facing destroyed by a bomb in 1979 were replaced by the same designers in 1980 by panels composed of wire glass, a polyurethane pad and sheets of honeycomb polycarbonate. The iron facade structure was covered with aluminium.

3. 2006_2008 Restoration design
Giulio Barazzetta + SBG Architetti, Anna Mangiarotti + I. Paoletti, T. Negri, G. Chiesa + M. Maistrello, with the A. Mangiarotti, B. Morassutti, A. Favini design supervision

The designed cladding panel is based on the technology of low-emission filters formed by the juxtaposition of chambers and the sum of the layers and surface treatments of the glass by means of screen-printed imitation of the original polystyrene, sampled and tested but not installed in the work. The project structure is in galvanized and painted steel sections, assembled dry on the worksite, with thermal break only for the frame of the panels, and not for the load-bearing structure.

4. 2012_2014 Under construction
Sergio Gianoli + SBG Architetti, with Studio Zani, G. Corbetta and G. Maggi, Seregni Costruzioni s.r.l. (Milan), Progetto Arte Poli s.r.l. (Verona)

The cladding being installed is a panel formed by the juxtaposition of three chambers and the sum of four glasses by means of screen-printed imitation of the original polystyrene. The treatment of the surfaces strive to achieve a possible reproduction of the original appearance and perception, or at least its idea pursued in the successive constructions, replacing the material truth of the destroyed original with a plausible copy of its image and its opalescent quality. The structure of the wall has been supplied in shot-peened stainless steel.


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