Print Friendly, PDF & Email


Projects > Assignment, Private, Social

Main dans la Main Lugano Foundation
Performance Sia 102
31, 32, 33, 41 executive plans only, 51 executive plans only, 52 architectural management only, construction site in progress
Eexecution year

The chemist Piero Neri Sizzo De Noris founded in 1906 the Società Anonima Miniere Schisti Bitumosi of Meride and Besano putting into operation the Spinirolo factory for the distillation of shale oil and the refining of saurol, a product similar to the ichthyol required by the market pharmaceutical industry in Milan and Basel.
In 1916, in the Tre Fontane area, five mines were in operation with a total development of 900 meters which in the early 1940s developed up to approx. 1700 meters. The average annual production of mineralized material was around 300-400 tons which made it possible to produce from 22 to 30 tons of crude oil.
The production of saurian drastically decreased during the years of World War II but for a few years, after the end of the war, they experienced a recovery that allowed them to employ about thirty people including miners and production workers.
The trade was again reduced to a few customers destined for the overseas pharmaceutical sector and the mine was definitively closed in the early 1950s, later the company was dissolved.
The plant was abandoned and used as a smuggling warehouse until the 1970s.
Subsequently it was renovated in several phases maintaining the evidence of industrial archeology and used for housing, culture and vacation purposes.

The project involves the renovation and upgrading of spaces for use as accommodation and laboratory spaces for young people who practice therapies with animals. The construction site is of a social nature and is carried out in collaboration with the Ticino school program.
At the end of the works, the buildings will contain an accommodation for the caretaker, a main house for the dwelling, a community with accommodation up to 10 beds with community spaces and workshops. Work spaces, carpentry and storage as well as technical rooms.
Outside there is a natural amphitheater, a riding school, fields for cultivation and vegetable gardens as well as stalls for sheep, horses and alpacas and an enclosure for a community of rabbits.