the new School of Engineering - Innovation Hub, built within the exhibition complex located in Via Tommaseo in Padua, following the demolition of the existing pavilion.
The new Innovation Hub was born from the desire to adopt an innovative architectural approach that rethinks the university space and actualizes it, renewing it and making it more suited to the needs of students.
We imagined this new university building as a place able to stimulate the synergy between students and teachers, redesigning the spaces and functions of the classic academic pole. It is, in fact, a building that meets the needs of the University of Padua with a contemporary architectural language that takes into account the environmental context, but also the need to create spaces usable by the entire community.
The new building, as conceived, will host the degree and master’s degree courses related to tech-transfer activities, deriving from the applications of engineering.
The area in which the new Hub is located has important potential, including the possibility of exploiting in the future the connection with the SMACT Competence Center, a centre specialized in research in the field of advanced technologies.
From the structural point of view, the building is configured as a rectangular volume, characterized by the presence on the south front of two structure leaning - starting from the first level up to the cover - that suggest an opening of the pole towards multiple directions to dialogue with the surrounding area. The central portion of the facade, both to the south and to the north, is distinguished by the large windows at full height, shielded to the south by a system of sunshades with horizontal blades.
The X-lam building is on three levels that progressively rotate towards the south, towards Lake Fimon.
The design of the structure forsaking any redundant pretentions and responding to a modern and iconic minimalism, in line with the technological and innovative vocation of the university.
The character of the building is determined by the alternation between glazed surfaces and opaque surfaces that give dynamism to the compact white of the facade, on which stand out the red cubital letters, another recognizable and distinctive sign.
The structure has a capacity of 3,000 students, with 2,800 classroom seats and 200 study room seats; it is divided into four floors above ground and has 14 classrooms, other 3 classrooms confined study, two flexible and multifunctional spaces and areas in close contact with the connective area dedicated to study and shared use. On the ground floor, which will be open and accessible also by the citizens, there is an area reserved for staff and a café bar, a meeting and common place.
The spaces designed for collective study, recreation and interaction between students relate to those of teaching, shaping a complex and integrated organism, designed on the model of the major European universities. The larger classrooms allow you to go beyond traditional frontal teaching to explore more current and innovative educational settings.
The innovative soul of the project lies in the desire to rethink the distribution of spaces and, consequently, their function.
An iconic example of this approach is represented by the distortion of the traditional concept of stairs as a distribution space, to make it instead a place of sharing for all students. Here you can hold conferences, debates, or simply, meetings and time for sharing among students.
The central passage between the two blocks, develops vertically between the floors connecting the spaces and offering situational multiplicity, opportunities for coworking and educational plurality.
With our proposal, we go beyond the staircase rigid and monumental, thanks to inserting stairs which are varying and interesting, which adapt to the variable needs on the different floors and add innovation and identity to the building.
Consistent with this modern and design-conscious approach, the interior spaces were designed by AOUMM - Argot or La Maison Mobile, the famous Milanese company that gave life to our avant-garde concept even in the heart of the structure, to make it cosy, modern and of identity.
The rooms are permeated by the colour of the university of Padua, an intense red that gives dynamism, warmth and character to classrooms and study and common spaces.
From the suspended metal ceilings to the flooring, from the signs to the linoleum stairs: the elements of the interior spaces will be embellished by the red colour and will give a recognizable identity to the beating heart of the hub.
In every project we marry a sustainable philosophy that finds a practical application primarily in the choice of materials. Also in this case, in fact, we opted for a mixed frame technology in laminated wood, X-Lam and steel, eco-friendly, innovative, safe and faster to achieve.
A solution not only sustainable, but designed to focus on the natural element: we hope that this attention to the green can trigger proactive and conscious behaviour in students.
The plant solutions are designed to achieve a high level of energy-environmental sustainability and ensure high reliability for the maintenance and durability of the building-plant system. For this careful and conscious approach, the building is being certified according to the LEED protocol and reaches the energy class NZEB.
The associate studio Settanta7, born in 2009 in a small room for rent, now has a total of 4 locations, Turin, Milan, Lyon and Acireale, in which there are about forty professionals. We design schools, gyms, public buildings in Italy and France. We make projects that not only serve, but become indispensable and precious. We are attentive to what happens outside our scenario and we know how to listen. By the end of this journey, marked by poetry, technological research, choice of natural materials and too many coffees we are pleased to have opened a breach of wonder and beauty.
Since 2014 we use BIM design tools, which allows us to think big and produce integrated and ambitious projects, with high efficiency in terms of time and design quality.
We address every project with the aim of minimizing its economic and environmental impact. That’s why we design using X-LAM wood: sustainable, renewable, antisimic.