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Public housing prototype in Via Anzani

Giuseppe Terragni, Public housing prototype in Via Anzani, via Anzani 34, 1938-43

In 1938, Giuseppe Terragni together with Alberto Sartoris presented a project for a working-class neighbourhood in Rebbio. It was a complex urbanisation that included terraced buildings and various multifunctional services. The public housing in via Anzani at the corner of via Magenta originated from that outline project. The project was reduced by the client during work in progress: of the three planned buildings, only two were built, one with five floors and the other with two floors, in addition to the ground floor. Due to the need to contain costs, it was decided to simplify the finishing elements as much as possible, introducing variations in the distribution of the rooms. The iron was also replaced by doors and windows and balustrades with normal windows with shutters instead of folding ones, the roof covering was preferred to terraces, and all cantilevered parts were eliminated. The upper house has thirteen rooms on the ground floor in place of the planned shops, while the lower house, which was designed as a terraced house with small private gardens, also has a gallery in the built version. The refined scanning of solids and voids in the façades, also emphasised by the bands of railings in the balconies, nowadays it is difficult to read due to the alteration of the plasterwork and their colours. In spite of the evident modifications, the intention to link the building to the garden is nevertheless noticeable.