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AlseriO 10

Beauty and Balance in Restyling

Asti Architetti

AlseriO 10
By Redazione The Plan -

Before you even step into a house, it should already fill you with tranquility, safety, beauty and balance. This concept, merged with a deep-rooted sense of humanity, was precisely what the Asti Architetti practice adopted as it embarked on restyling a building at 10 Via Alserio in the Isola district of Milan, originally designed by Melchiorre Bega in 1968 as an office block and storage space. Unfortunately, the building stood empty for umpteen years, so the new work completely changed its purpose, turning the structure into a residential complex with apartments and duplexes. Although the transformation was substantial, it certainly did not simply throw out the existing building heritage, maintaining the perimeter and load-bearing structure. Combining all the elements above formed the groundwork for an esthetic redesign that truly exalts the new residential purpose of the complex. The list of the “tools of the trade” the architect needed to achieve this is actually quite short: terraces, greenery, playing with light and volumes, using prized materials, and the balanced distribution of spaces. In Paolo Asti’s words, it was more of a “cosmetic” operation, adding only a few structural elements to hide that regular visual mesh pattern that so often typifies offices. On the main body of the complex, a structure was built from the first to the top floors to make it possible to construct large ribbon balconies that, in many senses, become a soft, decorative element.

AlseriO 10 © Daniele Domenicali, courtesy Schüco

The changes to the façades of AlseriO 10, as the apartment complex is now known, were not only a question of esthetics, but also fundamental in improving the efficiency, sustainability and energy and sound performance of the building. On this front, the aluminum solutions provided by Schüco played an important role, both in the common areas, for the façades and doors, and in the private areas with Schüco AWS 75.SI aluminum windows and Schüco ASE 80.HI aluminum lift-and-slide systems.

AlseriO 10 © Daniele Domenicali, courtesy Schüco

Uniformity of appearance was one of the means used to elegantly integrate the building into the surrounds, with the choice of colors particularly important: various hues of gray, white and wood. All the balconies have parapets characterized by iron rods, while white sheet metal casings are central to the identity of the stringcourses and the stairwells. The same color palette is used for the doors and windows: the Schüco SmartWood finish, custom applied to all the solutions chosen, meant the interior profiles of the windows and doors could be made with a real wood veneer. The production process for this finish requires the aluminum profiles to be oxidized before the raw wood veneer is applied and sanded, with a special treatment and surface finish the final touch. The effect is a very durable element that is also a tactile delight.
It brings the added benefit of allowing the exterior to be finished in a wide range of colors, producing an alluring two-tone window frame. Visually, this adds a pleasing differentiation between the interior and exterior of the window, such that it also becomes a distinctive interior design element that respects the building’s original identity.

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