Expansion of Franklin University Switzerland in Lugano
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Franklin University Switzerland: life and study inside the pages of a book

The expansion of the university campus in Lugano is a perfect tribute to the pursuit of knowledge

Flaviano Capriotti Architetti

Expansion of Franklin University Switzerland in Lugano
By Editorial Staff -
Schueco, Duravit, Ceramiche Keope, Artemide, Zumtobel Group have participated in the project

Drawing its design inspiration from the pages of an open book, this project by Flaviano Capriotti Architetti for the expansion of Franklin University Switzerland, Lugano, is a perfect tribute to the pursuit of knowledge.

The project expresses the holistic approach to learning that defines the university, a prestigious institution founded in 1969. It involved a significant expansion of the Sorengo campus, with the creation of 29 residential units, learning spaces, multipurpose classrooms, a fitness area, and underground parking.

Openness, transparency, and accessibility are distinctive features of its permeable architecture, conceived to create a deep relationship with its context through its strong narrative value as a new point of reference in the urban space.

Franklin University Switzerland - Flaviano Capriotti Architetti © Leo Torri, courtesy of Flaviano Capriotti Architetti

 

A new landmark in Lugano

The new wing of the campus comprises two blocks that, through interweaving perspectives, form independent but interconnected spaces. The first houses the academic areas and functions open to the public, while the second is student accommodation.

The layout of the academic areas – including classrooms, offices, a multipurpose room, and the student center – is intended to be a reference point for the student community. This block, situated below the student accommodation, has an organic shape defined by its curving envelope in frosted and semi-opaque U-Glass.

Franklin University Switzerland - Flaviano Capriotti Architetti © Leo Torri, courtesy of Flaviano Capriotti Architetti
 

This block is actually two single-story buildings, the largest of which has a street frontage, that together form a single multi-story volume beside the residential section. A stepped Mediterranean garden between the two glazed buildings incorporates an outdoor auditorium used as a meeting place and for staging exhibitions and events.

The glazed façade is covered with motorized white photovoltaic fins developed in collaboration with the Environment, Construction, and Design Department of SUPSI (University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland). This system is among the first in Europe that follows the movement of the sun using georeferencing software that calculates its position at different times of the year. Known as building-integrated photovoltaics, the system integrates into the building and is designed to guarantee optimal thermal and visual comfort while maximizing the production of renewable energy.

Franklin University Switzerland - Flaviano Capriotti Architetti © Leo Torri, courtesy of Flaviano Capriotti Architetti

 

The pages of a book

The residential block has four levels. Compact and understated, the street frontage has a pigmented concrete surface with a terracotta tone that recalls the surrounding Alpine landscape. The windows, all the same design with a few larger ones, form a rigid grid pattern. The design of the façade alludes to the layered pages of a book, giving it a highly symbolic value that distinguishes it from its setting.

The architects connected the building, whose interiors have a fresh and young personality, to the existing ones by recomposing the original C-shaped courtyard, which the student accommodation now overlooks from its open walkways. An outdoor staircase, which cuts lengthways through the site, connects Via Ponte Tresa to the historic Via San Grato.

 

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Credits

Location: Lugano, Switzerland
Area: 6270 m2
Client: Franklin University Switzerland
Architect: Flaviano Capriotti Architetti

Consultants
Project Management, Executive Architect and Lighting Consultant: Afry Svizzera
Building Physics: Ifec
Landscape: Hortensia Garden Design
Photovoltaic Plant: SUPSI [University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland]
Structural: Casanova Ingegneria
Fire Protection: Tea engineering
Climate Engineering and Plumbing: Zocchetti
Electrical: Solcà

Suppliers
Doors and Windows: Schüco
Lighting: Artemide, Zumtobel
Santiary Ware: Duravit
Ceramic: Ceramiche Keope

Photography by Leo Torri, courtesy of Flaviano Capriotti Architetti

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