Performed activities

Assistance at the Building Site

"Renzo climbed up the slopes to the top and once there he saw the Cathedral, a Big Machine alone onto the plain, like something rising more from a desert than inside a town; so he stopped at once, forgiving all his troubles, to gaze from afar at that Eighth Wonder of which he knew since his childhood."

That way Alessandro Manzoni describes Renzo staring at the never ending building site of the Cathedral in Milano. Still today and certainly in the future this Cathedral will appear like a big machine, something that needs a constant and careful maintenance to be kept well.

Instead, all the modern building sites do have a definite time; the signs onto the streets, in addition to the names of the designer, the structure engineer and all involved in the project, also show the deadline of the works, which won’t be probably kept. The building site is a transient structure, an orderly chaos, framed by the months, the years; once the works are over all around will disappear, the sounds, the screams, the sheds…everything vanishes together with the problems that the big machine brought. To document a particular cage made of steel bars tied by iron wires, before seeing it disappear into the caisson and then into the “sarcophagus” of concrete, and knowing the carpenter’s as well as the engineer’s work will be drowned forever into it, is in a way something very fascinating.

  Milano, the building site for the extension works of the Stadium Meazza San Siro, August 1988.

The image on the left shows the square where the beams for supporting the whole covering have been put up. There was still the Sport Hall which would be torn down in a short time.
  Before 1997 - After 1992 - Completed cover
  Varese, Civil Airport of Malpensa 2000
Air photographies of the building site 1989

Sometimes it happens to me to look at some photos that show the face of a person I know, photos kept a long time ago; and I can’t take my eyes off them, I’m always bewildered and wonder about the changes that have taken place, knowing that they are perceptible only in this way, and I can’t exactly explain to myself what happened there, I have no means whatever to do it… the only thing remaining is the astonishment.

Nobody, looking at these photos, could think of the smooth flooring of Malpensa 2000, to the pink, cream, pale green walls, the marbles and the bright glass partitions towards the Alps and the landing strip; now that the building site doesn’t exist anymore I think that somebody wished to record that moment and that nothing has been lost!
Malpensa 2000
  Survey to the factual situation on November 1992 - Buildings site images, Civil airport of Milano Linate

This is one of the most interesting and complete works I’ve ever done, which lasted three years. It began with an air survey to document the actual situation, followed by the reproduction of all the sketches by Aldo Rossi, the photos to the models the steady assistance given during all the peculiar situations at the building site and, at completion of the works, the shooting to the completed architecture.
  All the images shown in this page are of June 1992.
The building site is that of the civil airport of Milano Linate. Dioguardi SpA was the company, the project leader was the engineer Eugenio Kannes; this extraordinary document represents the phases for the laying of the beams which will support both the attic and the cover. Due to the fact that the two big straddle cranes could probably interfere with the flight security during the operations, the work has been executed in the nights after the departure of the last “A 300” to Rome.
  Nuovo Padiglione Centrale della Fiera di Pordenone

Angelo Villa, Ermes Martinelli (Studio S.d.A., Milano).
Lodovico Tramontin (Studio S.T., S.Vito al Tagliamento-PN).

Fabrizio De Miranda (Studio di Ingeneria strutturale De Miranda Associati, Milano) capogruppo.
©  Stefano Topuntoli 2006 |  Via Padova, 51 - Milan |  tel. 0226148067 |