CHCstories: BASE Milano
It’s a new year and we are ready for new adventures! Let’s kick it off with an inspiring story!
The European Culture Forum was held in Milano earlier in December. It was an opportunity to officially launch the European Year of Cultural Heritage which will throughout the 2018 put in focus diversity of heritage and the role it can play in building a sustainable future through preserving the past. In addition, one of the workshops of the Forum emphasized the importance of creative spaces in reinventing tomorrow’s shared heritage, that is, in bringing communities together and developing economic and creative value.
One such example we have found precisely on the spot – in a dynamic Tortona neighbourhood where the Forum was held. From a former industrial area, it became a vibrant and sophisticated district of Milan – a place of art, fashion and design. What better proof of a power that cultural and creative industries can have in regeneration of abandoned and often “problematic” industrial areas? Immense buildings still tell us the story of their previous lives as factories, nowadays transformed into showrooms, lofts and cultural spaces. Exploring the streets of Tortona you can stumble upon art installations, design stores, good Italian restaurants and even celebrities and fancy hotels. But what caught our attention is a huge, 6 000 m2 (and still growing) creative space called BASE Milano.
Once a locomotive factory, today it hosts different multifunctional spaces, a bar, a co-working space and even a guest-house. In 1989, the complex became a property of the City of Milan who was conditioned to use it for cultural purposes. In 2014, following a call for proposals, the area was assigned to a group which then became a social enterprise in the form of a limited company. Angelica kindly walked us through and told us about their inspiring journey.
Right at the entrance we step into a huge space, firstly an area offering the latest information about the upcoming and ongoing cultural programme and then into an inviting, cosy bar/bistro. One can check out the current exhibition while sipping a good cup of Italian coffee or having an organic meal and even stay for an hour or two to work using a free wi-fi access provided.
The co-working space called Burò of about 2,000 m2 still has the industrial feel while at the same time an attractive atmosphere with its divided, well furnished offices which stimulate its user to be creative and concentrated. The third and the fourth floor are dedicated to makers’ space – ateliers reuniting multidisciplinary artists, from fashion and design to music.
Finally, the guest house casaBASE with its simple yet unique, vintage decoration is definitely an added value to the entire complex consisting of one part open for the public and the other which is a home to many artists and designers coming for residencies or specific projects.
Need more reasons to visit Tortona? Make sure you book a room at the casaBASE for the complete creative experience.