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IULM - Knowledge Transfer Centre - University Complex

5+1AA Alfonso Femia Gianluca Peluffo

IULM - Knowledge Transfer Centre - University Complex
By Conrad-Bercah -

Sironi, Rossi, Ghirri, Munari. The poets who more than others celebrated the “calda vita” of the Milanese periferia, form the iconographic framework from which the new work by 5+1 AA stems. The program is a multi used KTC - Knowledge Transfer Center for the campus of the IULM - la Libera Università di Lingue e Comunicazione, a school that can be considered one of the (courageous) players responsible for the profound transformation recently enjoyed by this segment of the city known as the Barona. The latter, in recent years, has become home to interesting architectural work that is arguably more interesting than the much more talked about central transformation of the city center, like the Garibaldi-Repubblica area or the former Fair, which have managed to tire everyone even before being inaugurated.

In particular, the horizontal high-rise inaugurated in 2012 (designed by Mario Cucinella, see article on THE PLAN, issue 60) is today “challenged” by a vertical tower north of it, separated by a somewhat romantic in-between garden. The two works can be compared on a number of levels, from the physical to the iconographic. If Cucinella’s horizontal volume reasserts the urban threshold of the Olona canal by floating over it, the new vertical tower wants to alert the bystander to the proximity of this threshold but also of being in front of a new urban landscape that may be defined as contemporary and rich in erudite references to the highest cultural achievements that took place in Milan over the last century.

The comparison is useful because it helps to define the “terza via” of the authors from Genoa, the 5+1 AA, within the contemporary landscape of successful Italian architectural practices, that is framed by a neutral yet solid humanistic kind of modernism (half way between hyper-modernism and the culture of “preesitenze ambientali” defined by Ernesto N. Rogers) and the absolute,...

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