Milan || Italy
The Humanitas hospital and research center chose the metropolitan area to the south of the city of Milan to build and develop space for its healthcare and teaching activities. This part of town presents a variety of urbanized areas, ranging from expanses of small warehouse manufacturing to residential lots of terraced houses and low-rise blocks, golf courses, old villages and a few country houses. The urban fragments alternate with farmed fields in the surrounding South Milan Agricultural Park.
Designed by Filippo Taidelli of the Milan-based FTA practice, the campus expands the Humanitas Clinical Institute and the nearby Congress Center, enhancing one of Northern Italy’s leading-edge healthcare and teaching hubs from a design and architectural standpoint. Connected with the healthcare facilities pavilions via pedestrian walkways, the Humanitas University Campus achieves formal unity with the existing buildings while at the same time expressing the independent nature of its new volumes, which are designed to reflect the various functions they host.
The result is an independent village evocative of old farmsteads typical to this part of the Po Valley. The campus was designed to house 1,200 students, teaching staff and researchers in its labs, technology rooms, digital library and group residence, in three new buildings offering a total of 25,000 m2 floorspace. The new volumes are arranged to evoke farmhouse courtyards, specifically the inward-facing nature of the built-up areas around the farmyard.
The design concept of juxtaposing the various different elements around a shared open space is heightened by overlapping volumes. The new courtyard acts as the piazza where student life is concentrated, while at the same time providing access to the various buildings. The multi-colored volumes that make up the pavilions are characterized by three warm-hued, material envelopes that heighten the complex’s dynamic and vibrant articulation, their opaque façades broken up by ample glazing.
Inside, the same interplay of volumes and multi-colored masses is repeated, with colored acoustic cladding punctuated by the entrances to classrooms. The HUB pavilion serves as the focal point for teaching and research activities (cafeteria, snack bar, library and a study room), as well as providing a large patio covered by a sunshade structure that captures light and natural air, providing a social heart for the entire building.
The courtyard amplifies the activities around its perimeter like a kaleidoscope, offering visual connections through ample glazing while also offering instant links to the surrounding green areas. The Humanitas hub, featuring the hospital and new campus, creates a new border for the city, abutting the agricultural park, forging a renewed relationship with open space and providing a new central focus.
Location: Pieve Emanuele, Milan province
Completion Date: 2017
Gross Floor Area: 20,300 m2
Costs: 42,000,000 €
Architect: FTA - Filippo Taidelli Architetto
Construction Management: Intertecno
Contractors: Colombo Costruzioni, Landi
Plants: S.& C.
Lighting: Rossi Bianchi lighting design
Structural: Sajni e Zambetti
Wall and Floor Coverings: Casalgrande Padana, Forbo Flooring System
Internal Partitions: Universal Selecta
Anchor Systems: AdermaLocatelli
Doors and Windows: Schüco
Sound-absorbing Systems: Fantoni
Photography: © Andrea Martiradonna, courtesy of FTA – Filippo Taidelli Architetto