Milan: ‘Cultural_Water_Landscape’ – Workshop Proposal

Following on from the 2 day ‘Cultural_Water_Landscape’ workshop based on the Navigli in Milan, run in collaboration with Landscape Interface Studio, Kingston University, Laboratory PaRID of the Department of Architecture, Built Environment and Construction Engineering,  Politecnico di Milano and Navigli Lombardi, a series of design proposals have been developed by student teams.  The architecture students were asked to develop proposals to promote the Salterio farmstead and to to engage potential audiences for the farmstead and museum complex.  




The Salterio Farmstead Museum complex is being developed in one of Milan’s “cascines” or farmhouses. The redevelopment of the cascine will help draw investment into the Navigli system and generate potential income for the local community.   The proposed Salterio Museum complex is planned ahead of Milan’s Expo 2015. Salterio Museum – “Officina del gusto” – is an opportunity for the revival of cultural identity and  architectural heritage located on the edge of Milan’s canal network.  EXPO 2015’s main theme is Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life’ and EXPO 2015 will feature the cultural heritage of Norther Italy’s links to food production.

One group has proposed an event based at the Museum – ‘Cascina Salterio Party’ – to engage the local community to enjoy the surroundings, find out what the museum has to offer and to encourage interaction by asking people to share their experience and history of the neighbouring land.  They plan to encourage the community – young and old – to collaborate by exchanging recipes which rely on local produce.  To promote the event and the museum they plan to use food product packaging as a means to market and promote the museum site. Other suggestions include a children’s cartoon strip which describes the farmstead/museum initiative to younger collaborators and a party kit containing promotional picnic kits.




EXPO 2015 will feature food cultivation, distribution and preparation and it is hoped that visitors can be encourage to leave the EXPO site to visit outlying locations to explore the Food theme at various sites beyond central Milan.  The students are looking at ways of encouraging EXPO visitors to follow distinct paths and routes across the Milan landscape using foot and cycle pathways plus the navigli waterways to visit the Salterio site.



The farmstead is located on the banks of the Navigli Pavese near the Municipality of Zibido San Giacomo and the commune of Moirago.  A second team of students are looking at a proposal to encourage passing commuters to stop off at the site.  Cyclists pass the museum site and the proposal looks at various ways of encouraging them to stop off and engage with the venue. Floating pontoons on the canal would provide shaded rest areas or location for water-sports hire.  Other proposals are to introduce information points along the length of the navigli to encourage people to stop and engage with the landscape.  Information would describe the landscape, farming techniques, food cultivation – both present but also techniques and cultivation in the past.  Further information would relate to architectural heritage and the development of the countryside beyond the Milan city limits.  A final proposal looks at how the local communities can link to the Salterio complex and possible ways of redirecting traffic flow in relation to the museum building – encouraging motorists, cyclists and pedestrians to engage with the museum.


The recent project “Camminando sull’acqua” developed by local towns and  municipalities have worked together to undertake a project of environmental regeneration of the landscape, in order to safeguard and enhance the environmental, historical, architectural and cultural heritage and improve access to local lakes, canals, foot and cycle pathways.  At the same time the project offers the opportunity to develop economic activities, such as agritourism, farming and forestry, in harmony with the environment.

Features of the  “Camminando sull’acqua” project:
  • A backbone of 30-kilometer routes linking the Naviglio Grande and the Naviglio Pavese with Oasis Lacchiarella and acess to the center of Milan and Abbiategrasso,  Ticino Park, the Abbey of Morimondo and the Certosa di Pavia
  • A network of pedestrian cycle routes that links seven municipalities , more than 30 farms providing access to the agrarian history of Milan , environmental and landscape areas of northern Italy
  • six designated areas for sporting, recreational , cultural and leisure : Merlini lake , Lake Santa Maria, Pastorini Lakes , Lakes Carcana , Lake Mill Cusico , Wetland Pasturago , Oasis of Lacchiarella
  • A new forest of 100 acres of land , divided into three groups ( Marianna Farm – Caggiano, Gudo Gambaredo and Buccinasco , Carcana – Zibido San Giacomo) providing a wooded buffer zone between the surrounding landscape and the metropolitan area of Milan.

Also read

Milan Design Week: Culture_Water_Landscapes


One comment

  1. Pingback: As the Darsena reopens for EXPO, Milan rediscovers its waterways | Landscape Interface Studio

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