How did the Ansaldo ex-steelworks change?

How did the ex-factory change during the last 18 years?

After consulting the census sheet linked to the old Milanese factory and kept in Banca dati di archeologia industriale in Lombardia – I would like to update it since it dates back to 1998.

The old building seems completely requalified and it’s interesting to underline how this decision has been totally developed in a cultural way. The complex of the ex-Ansaldo was born again; it has become a reference point for culture.

Ex stabilimento Ansaldo Milano
Localizzazione dell’area occupata precedentemente dall’ex stabilimento Ansaldo, Milano.


Locality: Milan- 20144 /

Address: Set within the quadrilateral composed of Tortona road, Bergognone roead, Savona road and Stendhal road

Owner: District of Milan

Ex stabilimento Ansaldo
Fotografia del censimento, aggiornato al 1998.
Ph credit: Banca dati di archeologia industriale in Lombardia.



Purposes (from ’98 census): Partially abandoned, partly devoted to town services, in part warehouses for the set designs of Teatro alla Scala (under construction). An International contest of Architecture was announced for the restoration of the complex: the purpose was to turn it into a museum.

Current purposes (2016):

  • Workshop-fashion house of Teatro alla Scala in Milan: where the scenic equipment is made by craftsmen such as set design, sculptures, thermoforming, woodworking, mechanic’s workshop, set building, costume shop and laundrette. There are rehearsal rooms for the choir and a place for the rehearsal of direction, exactly in front of the stage designed by Piermarini.
  • Expositive area of Mudec (Museum of cultures) with auditorium dedicated to performances and visual arts, bistros, design stores, ticket office, coatroom, the room entitled “Forum delle Culture”, conference room, an area for didactics, restoration workshop and warehouse. In the building Stecca there are didactic works for children thanks to the Mudec Junior; moreover, there is the Mudec Academy 24 and open space areas of the Innovation Centre for every kind of initiative.
  • After a public contest, in 2014 the areas of Bergognone road – 34 were consigned to a group made up of Arci Milano, Avanzi, Esterni, H+, Make a Cube³ in order to create BASE. It’s a collaboration project for the cultural and creative companies. There are conference rooms, auditorium, rooms for events, bistros, coffee shop, maker lab, recording studios and photographic studios, theatre and areas for concerts.

Previous purpose: Ansaldo ex-steelworks were used for the building of locomotives, wagons and tram carriages.


  • Ansaldo workshops/fashion houses, Bergognone road – 34
  • Mudec, Tortona road – 56
  • Base, Tortona road – 40

Accessible: Yes


Factory (from the old census): different kind of warehouses mainly built with a shed roofs made of reinforced concrete. The main shop is very significant too.

Current appearance of the building:

  • Mudec spaces have been renovated according to the technical directions of the architect David Chipperfield; it has changed into a square-shaped building, covered in zinc and crystal in order to provide lighting all day long. The new space is different from the main hall that is linked to an inner courtyard. It was set to represent a sort of covered square that could become a place for meeting among culture and communities.
  • Base Milano spaces have been renovated too. The external facades of Tortona road were retrieved adding doors and thermal-break windows; while the ones of the courtyard have been repaired after a process of waterproofing and also thanks to the adding of thermal insulation. The space is 11000 mq wide – divided into 8 rooms on 4 floors. Some rooms turned out to have been already renovated (and so they have been refurbished with new furniture) while others have been completely modernised. Moreover, in the F room, we can see an old flooring and a panelling, both very interesting. The building was completely renewed thanks to the following improvements: lighting systems, heating and cooling systems, fire alarm and anti-theft system, water and sanitary system, transmission system, fire extinguisher, emergency exit, plasters have been renovated, flooring renovation and also the creation of restroom.

Infrastructures: the layout of the railway is still visible under the front door (Bergognone road – 34). (There were many products and raw materials that passed through the rail near the goods yard every day).

Ansaldo Bergognone Milano Atelier Laboratori Teatro alla Scala
In basso a destra si notano leggermente i tracciati ferroviari. (Foto del 2015)
Ph credit: Lovely Milano

Historical notes

Construction date: Since 1904 (for the warehouses); since 1920 (for the old office body)

Architect: Engeneer P. Gadda for the office body; Engeneer Valverti for the warehouses with shed roofs

Customer: Zust company (1904), then AEG, F. Tosi, Galileo Ferraris, C.G.E


Translated by Andrea Consalvi


Art bonus

L’architettura del Mudec

Laboratori-atelier Ansaldo


Milano, inaugurato (in sordina) il museo delle Culture dell’archistar

Progetto Base Milano

Ferrovie Ansaldo

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