Even though being one of the most iconic places of Milano, the square in front of Castello Sforzesco has accommodated for years a traffic congested four lanes road. A narrow Romantic garden, fragmented by a multitude of tarmac paths separates the road from the castle’s moat. Despite the castle sits in the center of a hemicycle, the view towards it is nowadays obstructed by big scale shrubs. In contrast to the brief, the project suggests the expansion of the pedestrian area to the whole hemicycle that surrounds the castle - a circular urban structure that connects Piazza Castello to Parco Sempione – instead of limiting it to the surface which faces the castle’s main façade. In continuation with the Foro Bonaparte project by Giovanni Antolini (1801), which works on the monumental character of the void, and with the study by Giuseppe Piermarini (1814), which proposes a green infrastructure in which the trees defines urban rooms, our proposal considers the area around the castle as a unique continuous system, whose borders are defined by curved green lines of trees. Their trunks, which are positioned following a regular rhythm, performs as the columns of an urban arcade. The packed-earth floor of Parco Sempione is extended to Piazza Castello, while the XIX century flowerbeds are unified into a unique surface of grass, adapting to the irregular topography of the site and linking the higher level of the castle to the lower one of the semicircle. The park enclosure is then pushed back in order to reposition the Castle at the center of the new urban void. As a compensation room, the new square creates the space of transition between the urban and the natural landscape, allowing – once again – the proper distance around the Castle.

Competition promoter: Comune di Milano, La Triennale di Milano / In collaboration with: Onsite Studio / Status: honorable mention / Architects: Ambra Fabi, Giovanni Piovene, Giancarlo Floridi, Angelo Lunati / Onsite design team: Giada Bonatti, Filippo Fagioli, Simone Marmori, Ghiath Al Jebawi, Oktavian Catlabuga, Mirko Franzoi, Ceren Gun, Michele Miserotti, Andrea Morstabilini, Lorenza Odorizzi, Sebastian Sanchez, Martina Scotton / Piovenefabi design team: Carlotta Capobianco, Francesca Cosenza, Sara Franzetti, Marta Lelli, Costanza Masini, Valentina Volpi / Cultural programming: Esterni (IT) / Studio Giorgetta Architetti Paesaggisti / Mobility engineering: Mobility in Chain (IT)

Piazza Castello

Piazza Castello




Piovenefabi is a milanese architectural office founded in 2013 by Ambra Fabi and Giovanni Piovene, based in Milan and Brussels. The office works nationally and internationally in the fields of architecture, urban research, territorial visions and design.

Ambra Fabi studied in Mendrisio and Paris Belleville. She worked at Architeckturbüro Peter Zumthor und Partner and then as a freelance architect in Milan. She has been teaching assistant in Mendrisio (CH) and professor at IED Cagliari and KU Leuven Sint Lucas Brussels. She is currently teaching at École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture in Marne-la-Vallée Paris Est.

Giovanni Piovene studied in Venice and Paris Belleville. He co-founded the office Salottobuono and San Rocco magazine. He has been teaching assistant in Mendrisio and EPFL and professor at ISIA Urbino. He is currently teaching at École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture in Marne-la-Vallée Paris Est.

Collaborators: Antonello Calabrese, Sellua Di Ceglie, Damiano Finetti, Marco Antonio Ghetti, Juliane Seehawer, Costanza Zeni.


Corso Indipendenza 14
I-20129 Milano, Italy
T +39 02 36 58 45 47

Rue de la Concorde 18
B-1050 Ixelles - Bruxelles, Belgique
T +32 (0) 498 53 39 42



During the final days of Trienal de Arquitectura de Lisboa 2019, a three-day programme of architecture conferences focused on the themes of the main exhibitions conceived for The Poetics of Reason.
The conference about "What is ornament?", moderated by Ambra Fabi and Giovanni Piovene, took place on 30 November 2019 at Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian and featured lectures by Sam Jacob ( Sam Jacob Studio ), Konstantinos Pantazis (Point Supreme ) and Matilde Cassani.

You can watch the full conference at the following links


What is ornament at TALK TALK TALK

We are delighted to announce What is Ornament?, a book curated by Ambra Fabi and Giovanni Piovene and published by Polígrafa Ediciones Barcelona.
What is ornament? is a question which doesn’t need definitive answers but instead prompts a series of possible discussions. The book is organized as a reader: a collection of contributions, ranging from Vitruvius to the current day dealing, in different ways with the debate around ornament. The reader is the theoretical complement of the homonym exhibition, part of the 5th Lisbon Architecture Triennale ‘The Poetics of Reason’.

To order for a bookshop or as an individual: orders@artbooks.es
More info at https://www.trienaldelisboa.com/publications/what-is-ornament-en

'What is ornament?' The book

You are all invited to join us next friday (4/10/19) at Culturgest - Fundação CGD for the opening of "What is ornament?", the exhibition curated by Ambra Fabi and Giovanni Piovene for Trienal de Arquitectura de Lisboa 2019 - The poetics of reason.
The exhibition aims to reconfigure the discussion about ornament, particularly focusing on its current appropriation and interpretation. How can ornament be reconsidered today as an integral part of architecture? What is its impact and its value? Can we still talk about ornament as a quantitative or qualitative option? "What is Ornament?" is an attempt to look for open answers.

More info at:

What is ornament? - Lisbon Architecture Triennale 2019

We are very happy to announce Design Balneare, a workshop in the context of Made Labs in Siracusa (Italy) 29/7 – 3/8.

More on www.madelabs.it or... Apply Here!

Design Balneare

Metrò Lamp is featured on the #388 issue of M, Le Monde's magazine.

M, le magazine du Monde

As part of the Divisare box set NEW ARCHITECTS 2 - MILAN, HALF OBJECT HALF ARCHITECTURE is finally out!

Half Object Half Architecture

Metrò Lamp is featured on the October issue of Elle Decor Italia.

Elle Decor

Our work is featured in AD Collector #18.

AD Collectors

Our furniture pieces realized for Chicago Architecture Biennale 2017 will be produced by Maniera and presented for the first time in Milan, during the Design Week. Maniera 14 & 17: Productora / Columbus Table + Piovenefabi / Metrò. ALCOVA, 17 – 22 April 2018, 11 am – 7 pm.
Photographs by Giovanna Silva.

MDW.3 Maniera

We have designed the Nanban temporary store for the Milano Design Week 2018. The project synthesizes the symbolic icon of all Japanese cities: the kiosk. Alcova, Via Popoli Uniti 11/13, April 17-22 2018.

MDW.2 Nanban

In the frame of the Milano Design Week 2018 we will present Comodo, a small table designed and produced for Silipol Studies n.3, a project by Mariotti Fulget. Opening: Tuesday April 17, Via Pietro Maroncelli 14, 7–11PM

MDW.1 Mariotti Fulget

Piovenefabi has been featured among the 100 talents of 2018 in the design world on Icon Design, March Issue 2018.

Icon Design