Buena Vista

via Giordano Bruno, 191/195 – Torino

Social Club started a social co-housing experience in Turin, with the objective to give an answer to the housing needs of the non-profit sector workers on one side, and on the other hand to animate the urban fabric by experimenting new lifestyles.

The main objective of the social co-housing initiative is not so much to implement a beautiful project, but rather to build a community. This implies that difference and conflict are integral and sane parts of a cohabitation that is able to cope with difficulties. At the core there are the persons and the relationships.

Social management

The Social Manager is characterised as a subject which activity consists into providing services of social promotion and management of the assets on lease, and differs from a regular real estate manager in the centrality given to the tenant and the community that benefits from the services, but that is also a key player in the administration. The main objectives of the Social Manager are the supply of high quality services, including their monitoring and evaluation, and the integration of the economic dimension with the social one, aiming at the activation of relational and solidal networks based upon shared values, participation and the sense of belonging.

The building and its potentialities

The building subjected to the intervention is part of the residentiual complex of the Olympic Village, built on the event of the 2006 Winter Olympics, in the framework of the requalification of the former MOI area, that until the last century has represented area an economic point of reference for the Borgo Filadelfia neighbourhood and the whole city of Turin. The building carries an enormous potential, both symbolic and social, able to be transmitted to the whole neighbourhood: the strategic location, the belonging to the Olympic heritage and the spatial characteristics make it especially suitable for a re-use that includes the experimentation of innovative residential typologies. The wide double-height entrance halls, the common rooms and the big terraces make Buena Vista an optimal location for social housing, cohousing and coworking settlements. The pillared reinforced concrete structure also allowed for outstanding flexibility in the organisation of the internal partitions of the flats. The simplicity of the internal finishings allowed great freedom of customisation of the premises by the residents; moreover, the spacious corridors of some flats were used as actual “rooms” to live in instead of just transit spaces.

The symbolic character of the building is enhanced by the facade silk-screen printings: Social Club and TRA entrusted Paratissima with the task of contacting the foremost artists on the Turin scene, appointing one of them, the emerging Vesod Brero, to realise the monumental mural art work carried out during the manifestation.

The great facade of the MOI is then configured as a big canvas where the artist reinterpreted the themes related to society and living analysing them according to his own personal vision.

The common spaces

The common spaces thus become a precious chance to create social relationships: wide terraces, green roofings and commons rooms offer spaces of socialisation between the various users of the community. The Buena Vista project gave freat importance to the presence and characterisation of the collective spaces, distributed throughout the building and different from each other.

On the first floor there is a coin-operated laundry, that from mere “service room” transforms into a real socialsation space. The first floor also accmmodates a salon d’étage, a meeting and relationship place, a game room for kids and the club house.

The common furnishings are a distinctive trait of the Buena Vista project. They are recovered furniture, vintage, with a memory, that belonged in real houses before coming to be part of the Buena Vista project. Characterised by common colours, this furniture decorates the Club House and the thematic corners in the block, creating convivial spaces, apt to socialising.

The Club House

The Club house is born as a common space for realtionships, a common cafeteria where the Buena Vsta residents can meet each other and socialise. If Buena Vista is a large communal house, the Club House is its living room: everything is conceived to create a convivial climate and the recovered vintage furniture proviced by the cooperative “Triciclo” make the enviroment warm and cozy.

The roof garden and the communal vegetable garden

The considerable surface destined as terrace in the building suggested the idea of creating a real roof garden, a large, collective green area, realised by the cooperative “Agridea” and managed by the co-habitants of Buena Vista, where large basins are planted with aromatic herbs, flowers and small fruit trees.


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The professionals involved in the design

TRA srl – Architectural design and works supervision, weLaika – Graphics and corporate identity, Giorgio Bongiovanni – Administrative practices, Giorgia Cilli

Other subjects involved

Davide Ziveri – Social Club Social Manager, Vasod Brero – Author of the totem facade

Partners and supporters

Social Club, the “Programma Housing” of the Foundation Compagnia di San Paolo, Foundation XX Marzo 2006, TRA – Architettura Condivisa, City of Turin, City District 9, Banca Etica, Paratissima, Edisu, EAP, IUC, weLaika