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Ginger Bar



Architectural designer:

Arch. Elena Brusa Pasquè

Arch. Marco Zanini

Graphic project. George Bartocci

Client: Dar Zain




The former Cooperative in Magnago is a building abandoned for decades in the center of the town. In the 1970s the cooperative made substantial changes to the ground floor of a building built in the 1930s and which continued the eighteenth-century building facing the church. The building is currently subject to restrictions: the Superintendence has recognized it as a cultural asset.


The Piazza S. Michele on which the building overlooks has an urban form recognizable in other municipalities in the area and the telescope towards the church is an urban place that is grafted onto it and which the new intervention seeks to accentuate..

From an urban point of view, the project strategies are:

  1. Redefine new relationships between the church square and the internal open space of the affected lot

  2. Maintain and strengthen the telescope towards the church

  3. Accentuate relationships with Piazza S. Michele

  4. Avoid contact with the road and vehicles

To emphasize and detach the presence of the new function within a building abandoned for years, an attempt is made to dry up the existing building's signs by demolishing additions and strengthening characteristic elements such as frames and window scansions and an attempt is made to be noticed in the architectural noise of the square. manifesting itself through a few but significant actions:

  1. a volume is inserted on the ground floor, a "drawer" which has an aesthetic and architectural function but also of shading and masking load-bearing reinforced concrete structures. which cannot be demolished. The volume to the south is empty and defines a covered space (pergola) which offers protection from the south and west to the glass façade. To the north, the drawer is transparent but waterproof: it allows you to glimpse the internal spaces and vice versa through an external skin in Corten iron with backlit slats which blends into the gray tones of the surroundings and above all of the building next door owned by the curia.

  2. A shop window is confirmed on the west facade of the ground floor towards the square to find a communicative relationship with the square. The window rebalances the proportions between solids and voids of the western façade and indicates the presence of the library with a writing chosen from aphorisms of local poets to be decided with the Municipality and those responsible for the library. The writing will be engraved on the Corten iron cladding located to the right of the showcase. Looking at the window, an exhibition panel will allow citizens walking through the square to be informed about events and news happening inside the library.

  3. The telescope towards the facade of the church is maintained and strengthened thanks to the north facade which is maintained and will remain waterproof, with the juxtaposition of a Corten iron skin made up of vertical slats on the ground floor. The building will thus have a respectful, more intimate relationship towards the church square through the see-through screening in vertical slats. These slats directed with different orientations attempt a dialogue between the ground floor and the string of windows on the first floor.

  4. The new entrance from Piazza San Michele consists of a plant environment useful for the purposes of hydraulic invariance with a long seat that welcomes visitors as well as a large paved area useful for the enjoyment of the open space by library users (under the pergola), to organize outdoor meetings or to set up small concerts or outdoor events. The blind wall facing the square, which hides the emergency and service exit, will be noticed with a work of urban art that will be decided through a competition announced by the Municipality: a way to allow younger people to have a space for express themselves and be attracted to a space, that of the library in a small town, chosen as a cultural place that must necessarily be open and communicating. The other wall will be built with wire mesh gabions filled with reinforced concrete rubble from the demolitions to commemorate the intervention of the 1970s which is part of the historical sedimentation of the building. 

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