top of page
Common oven

Malnate, Varese [IT]


client: Legambiente

project, self-construction, coordination


with A.Minazzi and all the workshop participants

recovered materials: bricks,  beams, expanded clay, cork stoppers, wooden beams, marble, roof tiles 

purchased materials: refractory bricks, cement


cost: 300 euros 

_post (1 of 2)
_post (2 of 2)

The common oven in Varese/Malnate di Casemateis un simple artifact that you will certainly not see published in architecture magazines, self-built by several hands and heads, almost entirely with recovered materials.
Alberto and I (another architect, now retired) designed it, designed it, but we certainly cannot define ourselves as the architects of a project which during the self-construction site took different forms (not due to a lack of control, but thanks to the different heads and hands that helped build it) and that thanks to those thousand shapes (and those thousand imperfections) it will not be defined as the architect's oven x,but it will be everyone's oven.
During my studies, Prof. D. Pandakovic used to say: "How nice to live without leaving a mark". I understood this sentence years later, and only today do I fully understand it in the eyes of the inhabitants who, when they see the "new" oven, remember that old oven (demolished in 1960) which was right there and in which, during the war, they made very simple loaves. But I also see it in my own eyes, which saw, day after day, an artifact take shape which, despite being under construction, constantly gave me the impression of having always been there. A new/old oven. And I finally fully understand that phrase "living without leaving a mark"


Many hands have laid the bricks to see the courtyard oven regenerated, built with recycled material in a magical context where a new way of creating community is being built, starting from working together. The common oven of Casamatta is a place that wants to become an opportunity to meet again, to look at each other outside the workplace, outside the houses and private spaces, making something simple and concrete like bread, simple but universal. Doing with our hands instead of buying allows us to regain the value of what we have available, enjoying the long preparation times, rediscovering the wait and the slowness to give space to thought and relationship, to the face. We would like to do all this together with anyone who feels the curiosity and desire to return to living in the collective spaces of the city, a pizza can also be made at home, but we believe that it has a different flavor if baked in a space built with hands and dreams of many. The fire in the oven will be lit on Sunday to warm up the court of the Gurone Mills and to accompany new stories starting with conviviality and the rediscovered pleasure of being together like in the Sunday lunches of yesteryear. Re-weaving ties by discovering different stories, belongings and cultures in the many possible breads to rediscover oneself in a common belonging starting from which to build resilience processes to face disintegration.


bottom of page