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Small-scale model displays the vision of transforming the vaults of the former warehouses, Source: Milan Municipality

Milan to turn abandoned warehouses into a design hub

Milan to turn abandoned warehouses into a design hub

Milan Central Station’s vicinity is looking forward to rejuvenation with Drop City

On Wednesday, Milanese city officials attended a presentation which introduced them to a bold plan to restore the use of the abandoned Raccordati Warehouses. The latter are a series of tunnels located near the city’s central train station. They will serve as the core basis for a new architecture and design hub, called Drop City, where professionals working in these spheres will be able to meet, create and exchange ideas.

In addition, catering establishments, a library of materials, educational-exhibition spaces and digital manufacturing laboratories, which thanks to an agreement with the municipal administration, will be open to the public a few days of the week. They will be made available, not only to professionals in the sector but also to students at controlled prices. 

Research and experimentation space

In Milan "there are 12,000 architects and this makes the city a unique case in Europe", explained Andrea Caputo, the architect who conceived the idea for Drop City, speaking to La Repubblica. "What was missing was a place for a daily exchange of ideas and for cultural debate that could bring together all the energies of the city".

What’s more, there is also a considerable size of architecture and design students, as well. The goal of Drop City is to systematize the potential for a new neighbourhood model: a place to exercise one’s profession, carry out research activities, experiment with new materials and technologies, deepen teaching and enhance the debate on contemporary architecture in Milan.

The multi-faceted project, which will see 28 out of 119 warehouse halls reborn, is conceived, founded and signed by Andrea Caputo, with an investment of 16 million euros financed by Nhood, the real estate operator specializing in urban regeneration that will also work on the restyling of Piazzale Loreto. 

Spread over more than 10 thousand square meters, Dropcity will be a kind of hub of architecture and design: the tunnels, in fact, will host exhibition galleries, production ateliers, carpentry and robotics laboratories.

The proposed date when the new hub will open its doors is sometime in 2024.

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