A winning masterplan for OMA and Laboratorio Permanente in the “Concorso Farini”

Designs for the urban regeneration and transformation of the former railway hubs of Milano Farini and San Cristoforo 

Milan, 11 April 2019

The Agenti Climatici project of the OMA and Laboratorio Permanente team is the winner of the “Concorso Farini”, a competition awarded for the urban transformation and regeneration masterplan for the Milano Farini and Milano San Cristoforo railway hubs.

Chosen from the five finalist teams - BAUKUH (Italy), OMA (Netherlands), ARUP (Italy), GRIMSHAW (England) and Kengo Kuma and Associates Europe (France) – following a selection process undertaken in complete anonymity and impartiality, the winning project was presented today at Palazzo Marino by Dominique Perrault, President of the Panel of Judges, along with Pierfrancesco Maran, Councillor for Urban Planning, Parks and Agriculture of the Municipality of Milan, Carlo De Vito, President of FS Sistemi Urbani (FS Italiane Group), Manfredi Catella, Founder and CEO of COIMA SGR COIMA and OMA and Laboratorio Permanente, as the winning studio.

The OMA and Laboratorio Permanente project proposes two new environmental systems: one being green (a large linear forest in the Farini station, able to cool the hot winds coming from the south-west and purify the air of the most toxic particles); the other blue (a long linear system in San Cristoforo for the purification of water, defining a landscape for humans and non-humans).

In this new value system, all that constructed is residual, fluid, uncertain. In Farini, a new urban grid dotted with a system of strategically-distributed public spaces ensures maximum flexibility, whilst the city of Milan offers resilient and adaptable settlement models able to handle the shocks of the global economy. 

Respecting the timetable set out in the Programme Agreement,” underlined Carlo De Vito, President of FS Sistemi Urbani, “following two days of work, the international panel of judges chaired by Dominique Perrault has selected the winning masterplan of the “Farini Concorso”. The OMA and Laboratorio Permanente team project already constitutes an initial stage of envisaging that which will come about in Milan following the transformation of the former Farini and San Cristoforo railway stations. The selected masterplan will be integrated with the new Piano di Governo del Territorio (PGT - the territory governance plan) project of the Municipality of Milan, which includes - amongst other things - covering the Garibaldi railway tracks to create a continuum with the Porta Nuova operation.”

The illustrative masterplan will be subject to public consultation. On Wednesday 17 April, the phase focused on listening to citizens will commence through the compilation of questionnaires, to be presented to the city during an open meeting in the Sala Alessi at Palazzo Marino and simultaneously on the website scalimilano.vision. Subsequently, in the second half of May, round-tables will be organised with parties concerned to return the final project to the city, best implemented by July this year. Aimed at territorial mending, the development of the two areas fits into two strategic areas for Milan in 2030: the redesign of the Farini station will facilitate uniting areas of the city that have been or will be subject to a significant transformation - from Porta Nuova to Isola, through to the Bovisa axis and the Mind area. The regeneration of San Cristoforo will strengthen the environmental system of the Sud Milano Agricultural Park and relations with the new M4 station and the Giambellino and Lorenteggio districts.

The “Farini Concorso” was promoted by FS Sistemi Urbani, asset manager of FS Italiane Group’s property assets, and COIMA SGR, an independent company that is a leader in asset management of real estate investments on behalf of institutional investors and owner of the Valtellina area within the Farini station, seeing some 50 national and international multidisciplinary teams take part in its initial phase.

Environmental-friendliness and sustainability represent the heart of the masterplan, as envisaged in the Programme Agreement signed in 2017 by the Municipality of Milan, Lombardia Region, Italian State Railways (with Rete Ferrovie Italiana and FS Sistemi Urbani) and COIMA SGR. The area of the San Cristoforo station is entirely destined to greenery, whilst in the former Farini station, a large unitary park of over 300,000 square metres shall be created, together with services, housing, social and subsidised housing.

The regeneration of the Farini and San Cristoforo stations is part of the great redevelopment project of the seven disused railway stations in Milan (Farini, Porta Romana, Porta Genova, Greco-Breda, Lambrate, Rogoredo, San Cristoforo), that cover a combined area of 1.250 million square metres, of which approximately 200 thousand metres shall continue to be used for railway purposes and over 675 thousand will be destined to greenery. 32% of the total volumes will be allocated to non-residential functions and at least 30% to social and residential housing.

This is the largest urban regeneration plan for Milan for the next 20 years, one of the most extensive reconstruction and territorial enhancement projects in Italy and Europe.