Le Lavatrici: Brutalist ‘Washing Machines’ of Genoa

Le Lavatrici is a social housing project that was built between 1980 and 1989. It is situated on an isolated hilltop in the district of Pegli 3, Genoa, Italy. The real name of the residential complex is Pegli 3 but it was nicknamed ”Le Lavatrici” (literally meaning ”washing machines”) because of the distinctive circles that give the complex its unique architectural characteristics.

Le Lavatrici

The complex consists of more than 500 residences. It is divided into four main blocks and each of these blocks consists of three different buildings. Some of the residences are public while others are private. The energy infrastructure of the complex is not wholly renovated. The complex has one common area which is the parking lot.


Le Lavatrici was built in a former fishing village district named after San Pietro.

Before Le Lavatrici, there were some attempts to build residential complexes to improve the social and economic viability of the region but none of them did work. Finally, Aldo Luigi Rizzo, together with Aldo Pino, Angelo Sibilla, and Andrea Moro, designed the complex as a solution to the increased population and living costs of the region.

Le Lavatrici

The residential complex has been criticized for its lack of communal space and increasing energy consumption. There are infrastructural problems as well due to lack of maintenance. There has been an announcement of possible demolition but Le Lavatrici still keeps standing. While some people argue that it should be gone, others protest in favor of the complex, stating that total demolition is unnecessary.

Le Lavatrici
Le Lavatrici
Le Lavatrici