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Caproni and Taliedo aeonautical factory in Milan has been producing aircrafts and experimenting technologies for decades since 1915 becoming a symbol of the industrialization and modernization of the city from a productive epicenter to a creativity hub.

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In The Wind Rises animation movie, Japanese filmaker Hayao Myazaki pays homage to Giovanni Battista Caproni, founder of the factory and internationally reknowned aviation pioneer who becomes the inspirational mentor of the young protagonist of the story.

Today the ex-factory has become Officine del Volo, a venue for corporate events, fashion shows and conferences. But it hasn’t lost its original vibe and heritage. Indeed, architect and pilot Nicola Gisonda, owner of the location, has redeveloped the original structure of 1.500 square metres updating the original industrial architecture to contemporary needs.

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The facades are in uncovered brickwork with grey stone inserts; in the center, structural pillars highlight a pointed arched window that refers to the the original role of the building as a “cathedral of work”.

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RELATED STORY: Innesti/Grafting, the exhibition at the Italian Pavilion at Venice Biennale points out a national attitude to incorporate new architecture with the previous heritage. Curator Cino Zucchi set a botanical-oriented exhibition with a focus on Milan.

The Italian Landscape @ Italian Pavilion, Venice Architecture Biennale - Foto by Marina Caneve

The Italian Landscape @ Italian Pavilion, Venice Architecture Biennale – Foto by Marina Caneve


Inside Officine del Volo, three rooms with indipendent entrances split the space in two levels. A Corten steel with a recent flight on iron steps overlooks a small courtyard with original squared paving stones.

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RELATED STORY: in London, Studio Weave transformed an awkward exterior space into the The Lullaby Factory, a secret world that cannot be seen except from inside the hospital and can be heard thanks to few special listening pipes.

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Photos: courtesy of Officine del Volo.