Dinosauro Rosso – The Monte Amiata Housing Complex in Milano

A series of shots of the neo-rationalist Monte Amiata Housing Complex in Milano. Designed by Carlo Aymonino and Aldo Rossi in the 1960s locals refer to it as the Red Dinosaur for its dominating use of red terracotta and concrete. The complex is governed by the architect’s take on the Italian literary movement of Fragmentism, wherein he portrays the city as chaotic, turbulent, and intricate. It is not an easy space to photograph, and in trying to figure that out one starts to slowly get a sense of what the architect had in mind for life in the complex. It has 440 low-rent apartments spread over five blocks, a lot of open spaces and natural light filling each of the five stepped facades. There is a play between monotone repetition and stand-out splashes of color and texture. Not unlike my recent series on Bofill’s Barri Gaudi, this complex shares modernist ideals of shared living and communal spaces such as we find in Le Corbusier’s ‘Unité d’Habitation’.