Client: Human Technophile Foundation
Status: Competition (2020)
Clasification: 2 prize
Location: Milan, Italy
Coordinates: 45.520044, 9.106102
Climate: Humid subtropical, Temperate
Materials: Metal, Glass
Environments: Industrial, Railway
Budget: 189.000.000 €
Scale: 35.000 ㎡ Large
Ratio: 5.400,00 €/㎡
Types: Headquarters, Institutional
The project for HT Headquarters is the opportunity to explore different scales of the Universe and possible spatial manifestations of intangible and invisible elements. Already in 1956 George Kepes spoke about formal and geometric connection between objects of disparate dimensions. Landscapes that recall the image of cells under electronic microscope and results of chemical reactions that take shape of rivers make us think about our position in the Universe and provokes exploration of infinitely small or infinitely big. For this reason the project could not be just a physical place dedicated to science but it should be a space that inspires the research and triggers curiosity: a tool to reconnect the microscopic scale of the objects of research of HT Foundation with the surrounding landscape.
The area of the project was once a place of exploration and expression of new ideas and possibilities. A former expo site is a special place by definition. For this reason, given the ambition and scale of the project, we took the liberty to propose a new concept of public space. Our city lifestyle disconnected us from nature. A continuous research on quality of urban life has been moving us closer to the conclusion – it is nature we long for and wish to commune with.
We reached the preposterous situation, where in order to turn a place into natural settings again, it has to be artificially designed. We propose an idea of wild and unexpected urban space, a section of a mountain topography, a primordial landscape left to itself. Technology allows to bring the place to a future yet historical scenario, precedent to the agricultural and industrial condition.
For the new HT headquarters we propose a flexible system of laboratories and research facilities together with experimental public spaces. A building that is extremely controlled and artificial and at the same time can be fragile, natural and unpredictable.