location: Bellinzona, Switzerland
built-up area: 11120 sqm
date: 2013 – 2017

design architect: Mino Caggiula
project architect: Mino Caggiula
executive architect: Giacomo Bronzini
team: Francesco Magni, Alberto Bernasconi

LECHE is the acronym of the project’s core elements, which in Spanish, the second most spoken language in the world, means milk; so the concept of breastfeeding as the lifeblood of every living being.

Living: living within an ecosystem between fauna and flora, nature and well-being.
Ecology: the sustainability of the architectural design within the landscape.
Care: the care for the human being’s needs, at every age and in every stage of life.
History: the promotion of Bellinzona’s pre-existing scenographic elements, since it is known as “the city of castles”.
Entertainment: diving into a natural and social context, into a playful and recreational park

A project that goes against a wider topic at a territorial level, that is urban sprawl: the continuous and uncontrollable engulfment of the land by structures inserted into the landscape without a controlled planning.

The inspiration for the overall planimetric structure comes from a 1916 painting by Claude Monet, Water Lilies, in which the subject consists of water lilies floating on water and its interpretation is applied into different levels of the architecture. The complex, in fact, includes a pool of water corresponding to the receptacle of the flower with the residential buildings revolving around it like petals. The buildings, in turn, stretch out to the sky while rotating 45 degrees in order to guarantee the best view of the landscape so that the perspective isn’t interrupted by the opposite towers.

By analysing the water lily on a microscopic scale, we can see through the petals and identify in each a structure able to support the flower and the external forces acting on it. Hence the concept of structure that distinguishes the architecture of the towers, inspired by a 1918 painting by Mondrian, Composition with Gray and Light Brown. The project reaches its goal to keep a high percentage of green areas, by designing a complex that aims at becoming a socially joining park with a playful and social aspect, which is the soul of the project.