Stefano Suriano, 2016
Under threat – Alfa Romeo Factory Technical Offices
by Ignazio Gardella, Anna Castelli Ferrieri and Jacopo Gardella, Arese, Italy, 1967-1974

Docomomo International became aware that the Alfa Romeo Factory Technical Offices in Arese (Milan, Italy) designed by Ignazio Gardella, Anna Castelli Ferrieri and Jacopo Gardella,  between 1967 and 1970 and inaugurted in 1974, is at risk of being demolished according the disposal by the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Group.

“The former Alfa Romeo Technical Center, the work of architects Ignazio Gardella, Anna Castelli Ferrieri and Jacopo Gardella, (…) is one of the Italian architectural masterpieces of the twentieth century, built between 1970 and 1974 as a “door” to the large Arese plant, at the time when Giuseppe Eugenio Luraghi was president of Alfa Romeo. The building is therefore a symbol of the excellence of Italian industry, the only surviving part of the large factory inaugurated in 1962, which included other buildings of exceptional quality, including those designed by Giulio Minoletti and Giuseppe Chiodi, recently demolished. The Technical Center immediately enjoyed great critical success and is published both on the portal of the National Contemporary Creativity General Directorate of the MiBACT as a “work of excellence”, and on the cultural heritage portal of the Lombardy Region, as well as in national and international magazines and volumes.

In 2020 the building was purchased by a company attributable to the same ownership as the nearby shopping center, built on a part of the plant area. This change of ownership, together with the recent functional decommissioning, raises fears for the fate of the Technical Center, which could soon undergo profound transformations, if not demolition, as has already happened for almost the entire former Alfa Romeo factory.”

By this, Docomomo International joins the appeal to save this fundamental testimony of Italian architecture and history, a symbol of identity of the great Lombard industrial tradition, namely its declaration as cultural interest pursuant to article 10 paragraph 3 letter d) and 13 of Legislative Decree 42/2004. An open letter is already being elaborated.

Formore details about the building, please see the dossier elaborated by Stefano Suriano for the Lombardy regional heritage institute (Lombardia Beni Culturali): here.