During Milan Design Week 2017, MAD architects presented plans to transform a series of dilapidated railyards into ‘productive social landscapes’. named scali milano, the project sees five international firms — including Stefano Boeri Architetti, Mecanoo, EMBT, and Cino Zucchi Architetti — develop proposals for eight sites around Milan. The different responses seek to establish a harmony between Milan’s population, the larger metropolitan region, and the natural environment.
The founder and principal partner of MAD architects, Ma Yansong, who explained his firm’s proposals in more detail. Headed by FS sistemi urbani and the municipality of Milan, scali milano is an in-depth research project that intends to stimulate debate about the future of Milan’s urban fabric. for its proposal, titled ‘historical future: Milan reborn’, MAD architects posits that the city’s underused plots become interconnected micro-systems conforming to five spatial concepts: ‘city of connections’, ‘city of green’, ‘city of living’, ‘city of culture’, and ‘city of resources’.
The scheme transforms the city’s railyards, which have been in varying states of disuse since the last century, with a series of architectural ‘layers’ that help integrate the new structures within the existing urban environment. MAD’s masterplan both addresses and celebrates milan’s population growth as the city continues to densify, through the introduction of additional mass transit infrastructure, affordable housing typologies, and sustainable mixed-use development.
Situated in northwestern Milan, ‘scalo farini and valtellina’ has the largest total land area of the railyards — 618,733 square meters. this scale, and its convenient location in relation to public transport, means that it offers the potential to form a new central business district. The site is organized as a topographic civic landscape with a gradient of housing typologies situated around its boundary, designed to reactivate the site as an organic community that reconciles the congestion of the inner city with the tranquility of a rural environment.