Cascina Merlata


A re-development project that returns to Milan a modern and innovative district, a cluster of residential towers whose apartments are temporarily hosting Expo delegations and after the universal exhibition will be allocated to a young people target attracted by the charm of the city. Cascina Merlata is all about this, and today and for the coming months is the Expo Village, but it also represents a project that looks to the future, with subsidized housing at affordable prices and with a very high overall quality. The project promoted by EuroMilano was founded with the goal of giving a new identity to a territory with no particular architectural connotations of value, except for Cascina Merlata, recovered and devoted to public offices, around which the new district will be developed. 
On the whole, the new district covers an area of 540,000 square meters and hosts residences (divided among social, subsidized and free housing), services (including a school), a shopping center and a large public park of more than 200,000 square meters. 
A route of more than 10 km of cycle lanes will cross the district connecting specifically with the "Green Radius no. 7" which in turn intersects the path, under construction, of the "green belt", which connects in a ring the parks outside the city of Milan. 
The district is part of the new north-west district of Milan and boasts the proximity of an underground station and a complete infrastructure with a fully revised road system and connections made from scratch to the major road networks. 
The proximity to the Expo exhibition site made it possible to include and address two requirements: on one hand, the creation of houses at low cost but with a high added value, on the other, to find a comfortable accommodation close to the exhibition site for more than 1,300 international delegates attending the event. While the challenge was to design a space that could welcome different cultures, the medium -and long-term goal is to leave to the city a developed and sustainable real estate project, a model district that can meet the needs of contemporary living.
The current site plan stems from the contest held by EuroMilano in 2008 to develop the master plan of the area (won by Antonio Citterio & Partners, Caputo Partnership and MCA) and subsequently the 7 residential towers to which 4 more structures will be added at the end of the exhibition, for a total of 690 housing units. 
Sustainability, residential well-being and quality of the spaces are the hallmarks of a totally sustainable village, built according to the highest architectural and urban quality standards. The design choices adopted in the development of the seven residential towers currently existing, designed by MCA-Mario Cucinella Architects, Teknoarch, B22 and Pura, have achieved the Class A energy certification while respecting a tight budget. This was possible thanks to the use of highly efficient solutions such as photovoltaic panels, district heating, radiant floor heating and air treatment units, combined with solutions for the building that ensure a high insulation, such as facade coatings and the use of doors and windows with excellent performances. Cascina Merlata will be the first, entirely emission-free residential complex: all the buildings are served by renewable energy sources; winter heating and summer air conditioning exploit the ground water, with heat pumps and geothermal systems. 
These are major benefits which add to the spaces and public services such as laundry, gym, medical practice, resting area, interfaith area, meeting room, and much more. In short, a social housing, a model that promotes integration and generates the functional mix that allows an urban fabric to be alive and vital and a group of buildings to become a district. The houses are not provided with private garages, but with parking spaces, in the perspective of cost cutting and more generally as a disincentive to the use of private cars to get home and to move around within the distric

What were the challenges in fulfilling the wishes of the customer?

Due to its ease of use the ABB-Welcome system provides an important contribution to host people with different cultures, languages and habits. Furthermore it improves the comfort of the future inhabitants of the largest social housing project in Italy.


Why was the decision for a Building Automation solution made?

In order to offer technological equipment that is able to associate multi-functionality and ease of use for users from different countries and cultures very distant from each other, for the access management to the towers the ABB video door entry system Welcome was chosen. A flexible, yet elegant and modular design that allows to implement different functions with the same distinctive feature; a technology that exploits the versatility of the 2-wire system to provide excellent performances, offer advanced features and satisfy various needs related to access control and audio-video communication. Ideal for large buildings, Welcome accommodates in a single system a great number of loads, even at a long distance. All this in the name of simplicity of use, essential in the context of this project where technology has to be accessible to all people. The choice of the language, for example, is one of the most appreciated features of Cascina Merlata system and it becomes absolutely necessary to complete the integrated communication project that allows everyone to feel comfortable within the village. In Cascina Merlata houses the Welcome version with indoor unit equipped with a 4.3'' color monitor has been installed, while for the outdoor units at the entrance of the towers a version was used that includes video and audio modules and a numeric keypad for dialing.

Key Data

General Facts

Owner / Investor

EuroMilano SpA


Milan, Italy

Type of Building


Year of Construction



CZA ARCHITETTI, C+S Associati, MCA di Mario Cucinella Architects, Teknoarch, B22 e PURA

System Integrator

I.EL.ET. S.p.A

Floor Space (m²)

60 m² - 130 m² per apartment

No. of Floors

10 - 14
No. of Apartments 397
Product Range ABB-Welcome


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