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Carlo Ratti Associati's Milan Science Campus will be built from robotically-assembled brick facades

Italy - Aug 8, 2018 - 07:41   1060 views

International design and innovation practice CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati has unveiled plans for a new Science Campus in Milan, which will be built from robotically-assembled brick facades to provide more porous communal areas, natural oases and maker spaces.

Carlo Ratti's firm Carlo Ratti Associati teams up with Australian real estate group Lendlease to develop the schematic design for the University of Milan’s new Science Campus, Science for Citizens. 

Called Digital Cloisters, the design proposes a rethink of the traditional university court or cloister, with maker spaces and parametric brick facades assembled by robots. The new Campus will be located within MIND (Milan Innovation District), the innovation park under development on the former site of Milan’s 2015 World Expo – also based on a general masterplan by CRA. 

In the framework of a public-private partnership scheme, the project sets the basis for a tender dealing with the project financing, which will open in fall 2018.

Conceived as a campus for the 21st Century, the design responds to the decision by Milan's largest university to move its scientific disciplines to a new campus – from the Città Studi area in eastern Milan to MIND. The project puts forward a vision for an open campus that becomes a testing ground for innovative education, while fostering exchanges between the university and the surrounding innovation neighborhood. The Science Campus will host over 18,000 students and almost 2,000 researchers.

"The modern university campus was developed in Italy around the year 1000. Its principles have kept informing the design of higher education spaces for over a millennium now – from the Oxbridge colleges to the French Grandes Ecoles to the contemporary American campuses," said Carlo Ratti, founding partner at CRA and director of the MIT Senseable City Lab.

"However, today MOOCs, learning by making, continuous education and so on demand a fundamental rethinking of the architecture of the university – fostering more interactions both inside the community and outside it (“town and gown”). This challenge is what inspired us in developing the design for the new campus for one of the world’s greatest universities."

In late July 2018, the Board of Directors of the University approved Lendlease’s proposal for a public-private partnership for the construction of the Campus. The Lendlease project provides a concession for the construction and management of campus services for the next 30 years. The next step is the preparation of the tender for the actual development of the Campus.

The Science for Citizens Campus will be located within MIND, whose masterplan has also been designed by CRA and was first presented in November 2017, when Lendlease won the international competition held by public company Arexpo to build an innovation district on the former area of 2015 Milan World Expo. MIND extends on a surface of 1 million square meters (10-million square feet) and it will feature a one-mile long linear park, as well as the first neighborhood in the world planned for self-driving vehicles.

Project facts

Science for Citizens, the Science Campus of the University of Milan in MIND  

Location: MIND-Milan Innovation District, Milan, Italy

Status: Schematic Design

A project: by CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati for Lendlease

CRA team: Carlo Ratti, Giovanni de Niederhausern, Saverio Panata (project manager), Samuel Colle Dominguez Maldonado (project manager), Matteo Zerbi (project lead), Andrea Giordano, Chiara Morandini, Federico Riches, Nicola Scaramuzza

Structural, MEP and Sustainability Engineering: AI Group (Carlo Micono, Guido Zanzottera)

All images © CRA team: Gary di Silvio, Gianluca Zimbardi, Pasquale Milieri

> via CRA