20 – STUDIO M2R ARCHITETTURA – Residenze B166, Reggio Emilia (IT)

20 – STUDIO M2R ARCHITETTURA – Residenze B166, Reggio Emilia (IT)


Designer or design team: Studio M2R Architettura + Ing. Luca Medici
The project has been submitted by: Lorenzo Rapisarda

Plot area: 858 mq
Gross Area: 2.543,4 mq

Of which
Residential: 72,5 %
Public/communal areas: 13%
Facilities for the public: 0
Business/trade: 14,5%
Offices: 0
Number of residential units: 13

Typology of users: families, old-aged people, other
Total building costs: 2.112.000,00 e
Building Cost = Total Building Cost / Gross Area: 830,4 €/mq
Floor area ratio = Gross Area / Plot Area: 2,96
Work started on date: Monday, 14th January 2008
Work completion date: Thursday, 22nd April 2010


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The project is located in a small town called Casalgrande. It is along the Reggio Emilia’s foothill ridge near the Ceramic District and it has 20.000 inhabitants.
The chance to build a social housing block is given by a “Public Redevelopment Plan”, called “Piano di Recupero Urbano”.

The urban and social goals of the project are: to move the social housing from the outskirts to the city centre and to improve the integration of different social levels.
The extremely compact shape of the building minimizes the covered area and maximizes the public area and the ground permeability. The project has redeveloped the surround area taking the place of a pre-existing and decaying building.
The Housing Cooperative “La Betulla” has decided to sell the apartments at controlled price and to hand over almost all the external areas in order to allow the realization of the improvements of the urban dotation provided for by the “Piano di Recupero”.

The four-storey building provides thirteen apartments. The housing block includes shops and service premises along the porch at the ground floor. This porch represents the connection between the project site and the city centre. Thirteen garages are located at the basement of the building.


The social goal of the project is the base of the design approach.
The social value is reached thanks to two different level of the transformation.
The first one is the urban level, which is strictly connected to the location. The housing cooperative, in fact, can build the block on a site near the centre, areas that are usually used for private and luxury development.
The project site has public spaces all around. All the urban services are nearby the block, so all the users can benefit of them.
The second level of the transformation is the architectural one.  The building is organized around the “distribution core”. The “apartments ring” encircles it and creates a continuous and extremely flexible space. This type of configuration has permitted to build different type of units in a compact shape and to ensure a high level of social mix. Economy and sustainability take the most advantage of the compact system.

The redevelopment action of the disused area in Casalgrande is based on the concept of building compactness.
The extremely solid shape of the housing block allows achieving very good eco-save results. It also prevents the waste of soil: the compact building, occupying less space, release the ground and transform it in a green area.

The compactness concept, ensuring to minimize the energy consumption and the use of green technologies (like solar heating, photovoltaic system and condensing boiler), makes the project building very efficient.
The “La Betulla” housing cooperative has chosen materials and technologies that have good qualities in terms of durability and maintenance. A specific use and maintenance manual will be delivered to the owners of each unit.

The building flexibility has created a good level of social mix, helping the social cohesion and the mutual support of the users that are young couples, old people and family with different incomes.
In addition, the social housing project is closed to the city centre and to a lot of service devices. This has allowed the creation of a “community effect”. The connection with the existing urban fabric is guaranteed; the users are not excluded in the suburbs like before.


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Cooperativa d’abitazione “La Betulla”, Reggio Emilia
Promoter: Cooperativa d’abitazione “La Betulla”, Reggio Emilia
Allotment rule:  Sale only to members of Cooperativa d’abitazione “La Betulla”
Reduction cost percentage compared to the market value:
assignment: 100%

Country: Italy
City/town: Reggio Emilia
Address:Via Marx, 42013

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