CASSANO D'ADDA MUSIC CENTER || A New Territorial Cultural Landmark

Within the solid white structure of the Music Center for the Cassano D’Adda Municipality hides a multitude of functions and spaces.

The Cassano D’Adda Music Center was completed in 2017 and built in the city of Cassano d’Adda, between Milan and Bergamo, on the banks of the river Adda. Despite its small size, Cassano has a catchment area of approximately 160 000 people, so this project is meant to have a territorial role.

The area is near the main street from Milan to Treviglio, a few minutes from the center and from the beautiful Villa Borromeo, in a suburb characterized by constructions without value. The building seeks to create a new urban center, a locus for the city and the neighbourhood.

The project was developed after a participation process that involved local authorities, the school of music teachers, local acting companies, associations, and a representation of users. The Center has been conceived as a house of music open to the community, a public place where people can meet and interact.

Powerful, clean lines define the exterior of the building.

The placement of buildings in the masterplan follows the lines of penetration of the area, it divides the lot into a private zone surrounded by residential buildings and a public one with the Music Center overlooking the square. This external space is composed by a few elements like a terraced parterre that connects the street to the building ground height and an arboreal volume in front of it, that works as an outer limit for the square itself.

The porous interiors are in stark contrast to the solid white walls.

The program is very complex, including different functions and spaces for a real flexibility of use: the foyer can accommodate, for example, events, exhibitions or little concerts like an internal square.

Near the lobby, a 300-seat auditorium and commercial spaces (like a cafeteria or a music store) without interior partitions can expand its activity into the adjacent spaces and operate independently from the Music Center.

A music school is located on the second floor, strictly connected with others functions and spaces.

Overlooking the open auditorium on the first floor.

The building is a compact volume of three floors and a basement on a rectangular base.

The compactness of press-formed perforated white metal covering of the first two levels, white painted, contrasts with a very porous interior. The foyer is a great hollow space that connect different levels and brings together all the activities. From this space comes out the aslope volume of the auditorium, defined by its interior and exterior coating made of white wooden splints.

This kind of porousness chosen for the interiors is the same for the black volume of the music school, where compactness is carved by six patios that bring light and air to the classrooms, allocated next to them like an external projections of the interior spaces. This disposition creates a multipurpose connecting space.

The sloped ceiling gives the entry a distinct look and feel.

The different spaces within the music center show that the interior design team was very focused on the defining elements, from the colour palette highlighting one ‘power’ colour, to the use of contrasting textures (solid and porous) to distinctly delineate the interior and exterior.

Strong exterior lines evolve to involve angles and slopes as we progress to the interiors. What may at first appear to be a serious on the outside carries a playful, vibrant character inside through the use of colour and porous walls.

The team at DAP studio (elena sacco and paolo danelli), has created a gathering space that draws the community in with its flexible, interconnected social spaces and ignites a collective energy through the use of a vibrant orange colour throughout the building’s interiors - an empowering energy that follows you long as you have left the building.

A playful trick on the eyes. At first glance this looks like an ascending set of stairs, but this is actually the view from above looking at stairs descending to a lower floor.

Photos by Filippo Romano

Courtesy of DAP Studio