On the Campus of light: the new spaces of the Politecnico di Milano

On the Campus of light: the new spaces of the Politecnico di Milano
On the Campus of light: the new spaces of the Politecnico di Milano

It is part of the Leonardo Campus of the Milan Polytechnic, but it is also and above all a project that involves the neighborhood and the whole city, helps to mend the urban fabric and to build new relationships with the territory in an interchange relationship. After only three years from the beginning of the works, it was inaugurated this morning by the President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella, with the presence of the Mayor of Milan Giuseppe Sala, of the president of the Lombardy Region Attilio Fontana and the minister of the university Maria Cristina Messa, the new architecture Campus in Città Studi (in the historic site between via Ponzio, via Bonardi and via Ampère).
The historic buildings Ship e Clover (completely renovated inside) are now connected with the new part which includes classrooms, laboratories, study spaces and a classroom Magna (which was dedicated to Giampiero Pesenti); and in between there is lots of space for greenery, in the large parterre with newly planted trees.
Citizen participation in the Campus project had started even before the construction site opened, when the Politecnico had launched a crowdfunding to contribute to realization of the works and the planting of trees.
The Campus responds to a modern conception of the university that has established itself over the years: no longer an enclave of study and research isolated from the world and closed in on itself as in the past, but place of meeting and exchange with the city, closely linked to its history and its future. There are many examples, in Italy and in the world, in which the university has promoted redevelopment and regeneration interventions on an ever wider urban horizon, from the center to the periphery.
Two very difficult years have passed for Milan, in which due to the pandemic, even the Polytechnic – like the other universities in the city – was forced to interrupt its teaching activities in presence for long periods. focus on digital development. Today the inauguration of the Architecture Campus represents – as Mayor Sala recalled – a strong sign of recovery and rebirth, an encouraging passage that could represent an example for future interventions aimed at sustainability and regeneration of the urban environment. The Politecnico is also involved in other projects that have the same objectives as that of Park of gasometers at Bovisa, seat of the other university campus.


The Campus collects a broad concept of teaching, research, culture: it is not just a hundred of research and innovation, it is a privileged place where ideas are born. So he defined it the architect and senator for life Renzo Piano which he had given to the Polytechnic – the university where he had studied and graduated – the project for the new architecture Campus inaugurated today.
So here it is ready to welcome students, this one “Idea Factory” Campus which, as Piano explains, was born as choral and collective work intended to host a community, “A campus full of light in which stay together and grow towards the future because “taking refuge in the past is sterile”. The project however it does not erase the past or pass over it It moves in compliance with what the existing one represents in the history of the Politecnico di Milano: a school of excellence that is over a hundred years old and which today is considered by the international evaluation rankings as the first Italian university, the 42nd in the world.
The Campus identifies itself as an accurate and successful “mending” that has focused on quality and beauty, according to the definition of the rector Ferruccio Resta, as well as on the speed of the implementation program; a barrier against the degradation and neglect that risk devouring the suburbs of the city. The project adds without interfering with what is already there and must be saved; the intent is rather to restore and enhance all that is worthwhile and constitutes historical testimony. Because in art and knowledge, as well as in architecture – explains Piano in his presentation – it is important to draw upon, “For we are all that we have seen, done and heard”; But always add something new so as to return what we have learned from study and experience.

Starting from Renzo Piano’s original idea, the project was developed by ODB-Ottavio Di Blasi & Partners. In the Architecture Campus district, the recently completed buildings offer new spaces for a total of 4,200 sq m, divided between classrooms, study areas and laboratories; one of the latter is a innovative architectural modeling and 3D printing center. Outdoors, the extension of the Campus is about 8,000 square meters with a green space that over time will turn into a real urban forest: it connects the Architecture patio with the Clover and Ship buildings; the roofs of the buildings are practicable and will allow host events open to the public.

Photo of the new Architecture Campus of the Polytechnic of Milan, conceived by Renzo Piano

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