The Belledo washhouse is a small building inserted in one of the most ancient districts of Lecco. It is a small historical memory that, if connected to the network of the numerous washhouses in Lecco, becomes a testimony to be enhanced.

The structure was in a marked state of deterioration both in its material consistency and in its use. The Associazione Femminile Presente!, with the president Irene Riva,  became a promoter of a project to refurbish the washhouse, historically a meeting point for the washerwomen of the district and therefore a place of work but also socialization, to make it a tourist stop and a place for small events such as recitals, readings or concerts.

The Municipality of Lecco, as owner, and the Province of Lecco Foundation have shared the project and the Foundation has allocated funds for its recovery. Other donors were also found to make the project economically viable.

First of all, the project envisaged the replacement of the double-pitched metal roof with a wooden structure cover, as per tradition for buildings of this kind. The covering mantle has been realized by alternating multilayer anti-rebonded metal sheets with corrugated profile (like Ondulit) and sheets in white milk fiberglass, to guarantee a pleasant natural lighting inside the washhouse. The metal ridge also allows the natural ventilation of the underlying volume.

We then proceeded to rehabilitate the walls, re-plastered and repainted in shades of sand gray, with the insertion of graphic-pictorial elements to testify the link between the places and the water: on the right wall the image of a laundress, accompanied by a quotation taken from the Promessi Sposi by Manzoni, on the right-hand wall, instead, there are graphics that repeat the word “water” in different languages.

The original sinks in grit have been maintained and restored, while a new flooring has been created that recalls the original one in cement grit with wooden platforms along the sinks to allow water to drain.

The project was completed with a LED lighting system that will allow a diversified use of the structure, recreating different scenarios, assisted by a sound system that transmits water noises and traditional songs to the passage of people.

The collaboration between the Politecnico di Milano and the Scuola Edile ESPE-Clerici was fundamental for the realization of the works.




ACTIVITY: Full architectural design and supervision of works


CUSTOMER: Associazione Femminile Presente! – president Irene Riva



Dott. Mauro Fumagalli

Paolo Colombo

Silvio Valsecchi

Gli allievi dell’anno scolastico 2017-18


SCIENTIFIC SUPPORT: Politecnico di Milano _ Laboratorio d recupero edilizio ed Efficienza Energetica RE3_LAB

Prof. Ing. Graziano Salvalai

Studenti: Piergiorgio Acerboni, Domenico Arcadi, Vito iovino, Luca Scandella, Cristina Savoldelli, Stefano Campi, Elisa Negri, Alessandro Tucci