Archive for the ‘Architecture & Still Life’ Category

A new Head Office Building in Milan   1 comment

New Head Office Building – U 15 Milanofiori 2000

Designed by CZA Cino Zucchi Architects

The building has a free plan, following an H shape, and a facade with two “skins”.

U 15 1

The first is an internal wall, a traditional wrap that alternates with windows and doors;

 U 15 2


The second is an exterior system of brise-soleils in aluminum sheets folded in different profiles, pierced by an array of custom-designed holes and treated with different anodized natural colors protects the windows from the east and west low sun transforming the building in a sort of large tree-trunk with an iridescent bark.

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Posted 3 June 2013 by Matteo in Architecture & Still Life

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The magic moment   Leave a comment

It was a rainy and windy day. Not surely the best conditions for walking randomly through the street of a city I ‘ve never been before : Edinburgh.

I was travelling to Dundee from Glasgow, and it was fantastic for me to take an one day stay for visiting it. I love walking around the streets of a city I didn’t know and since long I ‘ve wished to visit.

Unfortunately, that day weather forecast said “Heavy rain and strong wind”, not the best for going outside of my hotel room and taking a walk.

“Come on, take courage and let’s go anyway…. I’m here only for half a day, I don’t know when another occasion could happen to come here again. I cannot stay in the hotel room”.

I went out without any particular destination, wandering through the grey and wet streets of the city, under the rain.

While wandering, I met with a narrow street, going upward, as for climbing a hill.  As I walked upward, the rain suddenly stopped and the wind opened the clouds, discovering some pieces of blue sky.

I was almost on the top of the hill, still in the dark of the long shadows created by some sunset rays, when a blaze made me blind ….my instinct told me to take my camera out from my wet backpack, no reason for that.

Suddenly, an architecture with colums appeared in front of me, with the strong light of sunset behind it. Among the columns, I saw a little point moving: it was a man opening his arms, as for hugging those sunrays that were suddenly blazing.

If I ‘d purposely tried to create that scene, I’m sure I’d not be able. The camera in my hands, the light, the columns, the man under them and his gesture….. everything was perfect.

It was the magic moment.

Calton Hill

Posted 24 April 2013 by Matteo in Architecture & Still Life, Colors, Emotions, People

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The perfect Illusion   1 comment

If you go into the church of St. Satyr in Milan, it seems that, behind the altar, there is a large space, a deep and regular apse, well complemented by columns and decorations.

But It’s not true at all: it is just an optical illusion!

You need to get really close to the altar, to realize it is a pictured perspective, only 97 cm deep,  hoped to replace the planned apse, which could not be realized because of lack of space.

In short, the apse you suppose to see behind, in reality does not exist.

The creator of this wonder, is one of italian greatest architects, Donato Bramante, in 1482.

The perfect Illusion

Posted 13 January 2013 by Matteo in Architecture & Still Life, Places

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The statue of St Bartholomew in Milan Cathedral   Leave a comment

St Bartholomew by Marco d'Agrate  (1562) by Matteo Fini
St Bartholomew by Marco d’Agrate (1562), a photo by Matteo Fini on Flickr.

One of most precious piece of art in Milan Cathedral, is the sculpture of St. Bartholomew, by Marco D’Agrate, made around 1562 and placed in the right transept of the Cathedral.
St. Bartholomew was condemned to one of most cruel and inhuman execution: the Syrian martyrdom. That is being skinned alive and then beheaded.
The statue depictes the saint flayed with the Bible in hand. The masterpiece is characterized by fine precision anatomical with which the human body is rendered devoid of skin, with the skin thrown like a stole on the shoulders and body of the martyr.

The sculptor, with not too much modesty, signed it on the bottom of the statue. “NON ME PRAXITELES SED MARCO FINXIT AGRAT.” (“I was not sculpted by Praxiteles, but by Marco d’Agrate”).

The New Unicredit Tower and Gae Aulenti Plaza   1 comment

With its 231 meters high the “Unicredit Tower ” is the tallest building in Italy. The complex, designed by architect César Pelli (the same of “Petronas Towers” in Kuala Lumpur), is composed of a series of eco-friendly buildings arranged around a circular plaza, formerly called  the “Podium” and, since December 2012, the Plaza  “GAE AULENTI”, in honor of the  famous italian architect.

The three buildings are arranged in a semicircle around it, rising at several levels:
1. Tower Unicredit, has 35 floors and is 231 meters high, standing as the highest Italian building (the building has about 146 meters, plus 85 of the spire).
2. The Tower B, has 22 floors in about 100 feet high.
3. The Tower C, has 11 floors and is about 50 meters high.

The new Plaza  GAE AULENTI with circular diameter of 100 meters and 6 meters elevated from street level, is running among the skyscrapers designed by Cesar Pelli.
It ‘s already become a destination for families of Milan, thanks to various social and cultural initiatives. The square is a link between Corso Como and the Isola neighborhood, so that comes from its historical “isolation.”

The ghost factory   Leave a comment

In Cairate, a small town in the north of Italy, there is an amazing example of industrial archaeology: the paper factory “Vita Mayer”.

In the period of its maximum expansion in the ’50, more than 2,400 people produced 80,000 tons of paper per year and up to six daily trains directly entered into, due to a small railway station built inside the factory.

In the early ’70, a hard crisis began, due to competition from Eastern countries and lack of woods. In 1976 the railway was closed, because it was’t profitable anymore.

After a hard flooding,  the factory was definitely closed.

Today, the “Vita Mayer paper factory” is one of the biggest dismissed industrial area in north Italy.

Any plans for making it to revive it, aborted.

Posted 24 November 2012 by Matteo in Architecture & Still Life, Pictures, Places

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The Vucciria of Palermo   Leave a comment

La Vucciria by Matteo Fini
La Vucciria, a photo by Matteo Fini on Flickr.

The Vucciria of Palermo is best known for its market, one of the must see places if you look for something picturesque, lively and typical. In fact, the market is set in a hidden position on a little square surrounded by tortuous lanes full of shops.

Posted 18 November 2012 by Matteo in Architecture & Still Life, Places

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