Multistorey Buildings

Social Housing Via Cenni

Milan, Italy

Housing complex with four towers and 124 apartments 1 | Housing complex with four towers and 124 apartments
An ensemble that is setting standards: affordable and at the same time sustainable housing setting the European record for the highest building with a loadbearing timber structure at its time.
Design: The housing complex Via Cenni set itself ambitious goals. Following the idea of the European city of short distances, the complex is home to a variety of uses and generous green spaces. A neighborhood manager is supporting an active community of residents proud of their eighborhood. The apartments are affordable for families (two to four rooms for a rent of 500 to 1000 €) and add urgently needed new housing units to the growing metropolitan area. This was made possible by the investor lowering their yield expectations and adding no speculation, also because the city gave the plot of land for free.

Wood: The main challenges for building the highrise could be met with the use of wood. The residential towers and the connection buildings were exclusively built with cross-laminated timber, with the exception of the underground level. Next to the structural system, the staircase and elevator cores are also made with wood. Only after a government commission of the central national building authority had positively evaluated the structural stability of the project in a seismically active area, the building permission was issued. Using prefabricated timber modules, the construction time of the building shell was, at the same costs, reduced by half compared to conventional methods.

Energy: The thermal properties of cross-laminated timber as well as the chosen house technique helped the complex reach the low energybuilding standard CENED A.
Court 2 | Court
Housing Tower 3 | Housing Tower
Basic information
Year of Completion |  2013
Investor |  Polaris Investment SGR (now InvestiRE SGR SpA), Rome (IT)
Architecture |  Rossiprodi Associati SrL, Florence (IT)
Structural Engineering |  Borlini & Zanini SA, Lugano (CH)
Construction Time |  18 months
Number of floors |  9 (residential towers) and 2 (connection buildings) + underground parking
Plot size |  22 000 m²
Gross floor area |  9 300 m² (in addition: business units and underground parking
Awards |  i.a. Gold Medal for Architecture in Italy 2015 (Finalist), Mies van der Rohe Award 2015 (Nominated)

Technical aspects
Concept |  Cross-laminated timber (including staircase and elevator core)
Woodworking |  Service Legno SrL, Treviso (IT); General Contractor: Carron SpA, San Zenone degli Ezzelini (IT)
Origin of Timber, Certification |  Austria (AT)
Energy Efficiency Standard |  CENED energy certificate, class A
Energy Systems |  Geothermal heat pump

Cost Saving Energy Efficiency

Site Plan Site Plan Ground Floor Plan Ground Floor Plan First Floor Plan First Floor Plan

Civil Engineering Works

  • 09Hyère River Road Bridge
  • 17Stuttgart Wood Bridge
  • 27Avisio River Footbridge
  • 44Forest Observation House
  • 52Elephant House Zoo Zurich

Multistorey Buildings

  • 02HoHo Wien
  • 10Building Cooperative Habrico
  • 28Social Housing Via Cenni
  • 45Karantanika Apartments

Residential Buildings

  • 03Stürcherwald House 
  • 11Chalet Chantemerle
  • 29Jesolo Lido Pool Villa
  • 46Scandinavian House

Commercial Use

  • 04Ski Hut Wolf
  • 12Sheep Stable
  • 30Oberholz Mountain Hut
  • 47Youth Hostel Punkl

Office Buildings

  • 01Illwerke Zentrum Montafon
  • 05Wälder Insurance
  • 13Administrative Offices
  • 31LignoAlp Office Building

Refurbishment and Restoration

  • 06Working quarters Josef Weiss
  • 22Freiburger Hof
  • 32Passeggiata dei Castani
  • 49Upgrading of Hotel Terme
  • 50Alpine Barn Apartment

Public Buildings

  • 07Civic Center
  • 08Fire Station Thal
  • 15Passive House School
  • 33Community Center Caltron
  • 51EXPANO Pavilion
  • 57Théâtre Vidy Pavilion

Special Projects

  • 06aLoft in the Barn
  • 34Sasso Nero Mountain Hut
  • 35Veidlerhof
  • 36Tree of Life
  • 48Wooden Interventions