The SNIA industrial area is like a small city inside a city and it is placed across the towns of Varedo, Limbiate and Paderno Dugnano…yes…it’s really big…abbandoned in the middle of dying grass fields, Chernobil vegetation and crap of all kind. It’s a ninety years old ecological monster, one of the biggest industrial complex on Lombardy, that gave work to thousands of people, working 24h non-stop, day and night, poisoning the earth, the air, the water and now that it’s just an old ruin, the nature is taking its revenge.
I discovered this place casually…despite my past as a ruins-lover i didn’t know of its existence, also because this ‘ personal past’ is old…i loved to visit ruins but only the ones near my hometown, going there by walk…these were my first experiences as a photographer wannabe, down to the Conciaria Cornelia complex at the end of my hometown, near the river…well…we all know where the industrial scraps went, right?
I discovered this place because i have some friends with some strange hobbies and this industrial area becomes an ideal set and after two-three invitations and visits, i have explored it almost at full when in the meantime, controversies and corruption keep surrounding the destiny of this area leaving its future highly uncertain. Someone talked about it as an area for the upcoming 2015 Expo, others thought that it could be transformed in the new fashion center of Milan…but as usually, here in Italy people talk a lot but facts are yet to be seen as this complex keep crashing piece after piece and it’s becoming house for desperate men and homeless.
From memory i reach the construction, passing by a small grove and turning right at the burned van, after the torn protection nets and arriving at the border wall where a hole lets me enter on the complex…it’s my favourite access ‘cause it makes me feel like i’m on an adventure trip, as if this place is almost my home.
Leaving aside its monstruosity and exaggeration i love this place. Most of the industrial ruins always look the same…enormous and empty rooms, grey concrete pillars that are falling apart and smashed glasses. Nothing more to be seen between these empty spaces. But this is a different story, this complex has a soul…all the production lines (Nylon and plastic wires were produced) are still there. Pipes, machines, control panels, switches and buttons are everywhere…stocking sections full of products, offices with desks, chairs, documentations and objects all around, bathrooms, lifts, towers, different architectures on every section and colors, walls and rooms with striking tonalities, arcs, stairs, walkways and dark tunnels.
But the thing that captures most my imagination and fascinates me, it’s the union…or better…the fight, between this old ruins and the growing nature that fights back and that gives to this place a post-apocaliptic look. I talked about revenge before…i talked about all the poison that this industry poured out from its chimneys…and now, that this monster is just a motionless giant, new roots are taking back all the space that the humans stole one century ago and vegetation grows without control and the colours of the complex and the green of the nature melt togheter creating almost surreal scenarios.
The complex is divided in different sections that are connected by internal roads and it’s a constant discovery…every department has its unique style with different architectures and often striking colors, where illuminated areas alternate with pitch black sections that go deep into the inside of the production lines…
…and it’s important to be careful because there are people that live in the complex and because it’s a really dangerous place with rusty walkways, scary and almost invisible manholes on the floor and unsafe walls that are falling apart. But if you love this kind of exploration and photography, you must see this place. So, go there with someone and a flashlight and, even more important, give respect to this place without having fun on destroying and vandalize this ruin from another era.
For all the other photos, take a look at the gallery below.