Piuarch’s Human Technopole Campus research building on the former Expo site in Milan
The global impact of Covid-19 has made clear to everyone the importance of scientific research for people’s health and wellness. It is now clear that it is essential for scientists and researchers to have advanced laboratories, spaces and technologies at their disposal where they can work safely and respond to the challenges of the future. This is the context in which the results of the international design contest held by Fondazione Human Technopole and Arexpo were presented recently in Milan for construction of the new Human Technopole Campus, an Italian life sciences research institute to be located in the heart of Milan’s MIND Milano Innovation District on the former Expo site.
The main headquarters and heart of the Human Technopole Campus will be designed by Italian studio Piuarch, founded by architects Francesco Fresa, Germán Fuenmayor, Gino Garbellini and Monica Tricario.
The new Human Technopole Campus will cover about 55,000 square metres and include buildings already present on the former Expo site in Milan, such as Palazzo Italia, the iconic building designed by architects Michele Molè and Susanna Tradati of Nemesi&Partners for Expo Milano 2015, the Northern Pavilion and the Southern Pavilion. The entire campus is designed to maintain continuity with the spaces around the Decumano and the Cardo, keys to the layout of Expo 2015, preserving their visual relationship with Palazzo Italia. The new building will be the principal centre of scientific work on the campus, ten floors high with 35,000 square metres of floor space, including over 16,500 square metres dedicated exclusively to laboratories for scientific research and 3,000 square metres of terraces and green roofs. It will consist of two functional, adaptable volumes arranged around a central space referred to as “common ground” which will form the heart of the entire construction, not only due to its spatial position in the building but for its important function as a centre of distribution leading to laboratories and offices in the two main volumes. On the ground floor, the common ground will be partly open and partly glassed-in, rising all the way up to the roof to create a space flooded with natural light, with walkways and ramps connecting different levels in the building.
The first to ninth floors will contain administrative offices and research centres, with biochemistry and molecular biology laboratories, advanced scientific instruments and workstations for researchers. The tenth and last floor will contain common areas such as a dining room, public meeting rooms and classrooms for hosting events and educational activities, as well as management offices and terraces providing access to the green roof that is the building’s most iconic element. With assymmetric gables and a series of south-facing green terraces, the green roof offers a number of benefits: the presence of greenery and of a photovoltaic installation, proper management of rainwater, and panoramic views over the city of Milan that allow the building to establish an uninterrupted visual dialogue with the city.
Images courtesy of Piuarch
Founding partners: Francesco Fresa, Germán Fuenmayor, Gino Garbellini and Monica Tricario
Project: Human Technopole Headquarters
Location: Milano Innovation District – MIND - Milano Italy
Numbers – areas, height, division by function
Total new building area: 35,000 sq.m.
Laboratories and support areas 16,500 sq.m.
Offices 5,800 sq.m.
Common areas, distribution and services 6,700 sq.m.
Canteen and cafeteria 1,000 sq.m.
Technical rooms, storage and parking 5,000 sq.m.
Terraces and greenery covered areas: 3,000 sq.m.
Architectural Design: Piuarch
Structural Design: 3TI Italia
Systems Design: Seingim
Infrastructure Design: J+S
Urban Design: Archimi
Medical Labs Consultant: Massimo Acerboni, engineer
Landscape Design Consultant: Cornelius Gavril