POLITECNICO DI MILANO – Polo regionale di Lecco – GRUPPO 29 MAGGIO

Borboleta, that means butterfly in Portugues, is a small infirmary of 50 square meters that will fly up from Italy to Guinea Bissau.

The project was conceived by Gruppo 29 Maggio, an ONG Association: a space for medical assistance for  children of a village of Farim (Guinea Bissau),  since this need of a mission of the Carmelitani Fathers. The precise and dramatic request  was to have a closed and protected space where a lot of children,  suffering from glaucoma, could be easily treated with simple creams;  but especially a place where this children will be protected from the infection to eyes and mouth. In fact, in the current situation, the children risk to contract serious infection and become blinds. These conditions of extreme poverty  deeply move  supporters of Borboleta, aware that a blind child in Guinea Bissau will not receive any help or assistance, and risk seriously to be abandonment and dying.

Borboleta is a symbol of life and cooperation and  respects the prerogatives of POLISOCIAL of  the Politecnico di Milano. The project is coordinated by the Politecnico di Milano, under the responsibility of professor  Marco Imperadori who has assembled a team of designers and suppliers. Among these Atelier2 and Valentina Gallotti for the architecture and technology,  Brianza Plastica for shingles  and photovoltaic panels, Marcegaglia for the facades and the interior furniture, Colombo Costruzioni for cladding and flooring, Velux  Italy for windows and for the solar thermal systems, Bertolani Costruzioni  for logistics and the insulation of electrical system, Cittadini  for the shading nets and hammocks, Rovati for carpentry, Nordzinc for the protection and paint of the steels, Italcementi for the foundations, the study G.P. Imperadori for structures, Forlani Systems for the lights, Valassi Costruzioni for the reinforcement of foundation, FaPa for the insect screen and  Hoval for the kettle.

Borboleta is a shell. The deck is supported by a steel structure realized with three-hinged arches that lead tubular cross- braced, also in steel. All the  structure was treated with the Triplex System, provided  by Nord-Zinc. On the shingle are positioned shading nets , that seems like the wings of a butterfly, anchor at the surrounding trees.

All components and materials of the project will be provided in Ghedi (Brescia), at the Gruppo 29 Maggio’s headquarters, where Borboleta will be pre-assembled and tested. Subsequently, the structure has been loaded into containers and sent in Guinea Bissau, where it was mounted permanently by the volunteers of Gruppo 29 Maggio and Todeschini workers. Borboleta was inaugurated in February 2015.

A ” butterfly ” flying from Italy to Equatorial Africa , a small building that can help a lot.

We thank all the supporters and providers who have made this possible.

In May 2015 Borboleta wins the Award for Research on Expanded Rigid Polyurethane foam organized by ANPE (Associazione Nazionale Poliuretano Espanso rigido) on the occasion of the 2nd National Conference PU2015 in the section “Use of Polyurethane insulation in high energy-efficient projects”. The award was donated to the Oblates of the Virgin Mary who run the infirmary , for the purchase of equipment and medicines.


The infirmary was dedicated to the memory of Gian Pietro Imperadori.





Atelier2 and Valentina Gallotti for architecture and technology

Brianza Plastica for roofing and photovoltaic panels

Marcegaglia for facades and interior furniture

Colombo Costruzioni for coatings and floors

Velux – Italian for windows and solar thermal systems

Bertolani Construction for logistics and the insulation of electrical system

Cittadini for the shading nets and hammocks

Giancarlo Rovati for carpentry

Nordzinc for the protection and paint of steels

Italcementi SpA for providing material foundations

Studio G.P. Imperadori for structures

SFSintec for screw

Forlani Installations for lighting

Valassi construction for reinforcement of foundation