In centre of Milan and in one of the most historical parts is located "The Urban Escapist". This building endeavours to establish a new dialogue with the surrounding by means of contrasting itself and transcending the rigidity of the context. The question here is how a building can establish a new typology while strongly relate itself to the place?
Site of the project is located behind Piazza Sepolcro overlooking an important church "Cripta di san Sepolcro". In the north, the site is adjacent to the police station which was formerly casa del fascio di Milano. The monumentality of the buildings in the northern side and the domesticity of the housing blocks in the south give the site a sense of complexity. The project tries to incorporate this factor to become a mediator, an object in between, being both monumental and domestic, a futurist which showcase itself by escaping the context.
The project is designing a performing art school on an archaeological site. Due to lack of open space in the area and the presence of archaeological remaining, one of the very design principles is suspending the volume to create pilotis by which the discovered archaeological site is likely to be showcased to the public. In order to achieve the mentioned quality the program of the school is broken down into 3 different parts and embraced by separated masses. Concrete volume in the south incorporate all the vertical and horizontal connections and it connects the ground floor to the school by means of bridges and corridors. The second part is the transparent volume in the north which embrace all the primary and private space of the school. This volume establishes a domestic and economical attribute and tries as much as possible connect to adjacent buildings. The third volume is the escaper, a function that is drifted apart from the primary volume of school and try to showcase itself to the surrounding. This freedom of movement is provided by registering a new ground floor levelling the skyline and roof tops of the surrounding buildings. The upper elevated volume is comprised of 2 auditorium and collective space which are directly connected to the ground floor and the school.



Design Team: Benyamin Nemati - Parinaz Eslami - Francesca Villa - Kien Nguyen
Design Supervisor: Arian Heidari Afshari - Ignacio Vicens Hualde

THE URBAN ESCAPIST by Benyamin Nemati in Italy won the WA Award Cycle 39. Please find below the WA Award poster for this project.

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