New Bocconi Campus, a Project That Improves the Urban Landscape

New Bocconi Campus, a Project That Improves the Urban Landscape


The expansion of the Bocconi University campus to include the 35,000m2 former Centrale del Latte area in Milan, inaugurated today in the attendance of the President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella, is not a simple building construction, but a real landscaping project. The smooth lines designed by the SANAA architectural firm, led by Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa, the transparency of the buildings and the 17,000m2 park open to the public achieve two objectives. First, they shape a new and organic urban campus, whose continuity is guaranteed by the pedestrianization of part of Piazza Sraffa. They also create a green axis that goes from Parco Ravizza to the east, to Parco Baravalle to the west, extending to the south towards the Park of Industrial Memory in the former OM area.
An open, green and transparent campus
The project, completed with a total investment of €150 million, includes a residence hosting 300 students, operational since the last academic year, the four buildings that make up the new headquarters of the SDA Bocconi School of Management and a multi-purpose sports center, functional starting in the next academic year. The latter has two swimming pools (one of which is Olympic-size 50m, the other 25m), a fitness area, a basketball/volleyball court and an indoor running track, with stands that can accommodate about a thousand people, divided between the Olympic-size pool and the basketball/volleyball court. Like the park, the sports center will also be open to everyone in the city.
The SANAA architectural firm won the international competition announced by Bocconi in 2012 thanks above all to «the ability to redefine the concept of campus as an integral element of the urban fabric, with a unitary, organic, non-invasive and at the same time open – physically and visually – to the area», as stated by the panel's motivation chaired by Sir Peter Cook.
The idea of openness is achieved through the significant continuity between interior and exterior spaces that characterizes Japanese architecture, and in particular that of the SANAA architectural firm. The perimeter walls of the buildings are transparent, creating the feeling of interior spaces that flow towards the exterior, and the lines are supple. The traditional sections of urban planning in Milan (streets, city blocks, yards, courtyards) have been reinterpreted, demonstrating a strong awareness of the urban context of reference.
«We tried to integrate the university with the park by using the architecture of the courtyard», say Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa.
The look
To enhance lightness and transparency, the buildings have a ring shape: the outer perimeter faces the city and the park and, from the inside, the buildings' courtyards form a natural and green environment. Each core is set on a reduced building size, guaranteeing the interiors exposure to light and offering wide openings to the park's courtyards, so as to optimize natural ventilation and reduce the use of artificial lighting and ventilation.
As a continuation of the buildings' profiles, the park is characterized by a system of organically-shaped arcades/canopies, which guides and protects the internal pedestrian paths.
«When constructing the new complex, there was maximum focus on environmental sustainability,» says the Rector of Bocconi, Gianmario Verona, «as demonstrated by the numerous innovative solutions employed, which guarantee energy self-sufficiency on an annual basis, the absence of harmful emissions and heat pumps and water-powered refrigeration units without physical water consumption, which is taken and then returned to the Ticinello waterway.»
All building roofs are equipped with high-efficiency photovoltaic panels, which produce over 1,200kW of nominal power. In addition, energy savings are guaranteed by the use of heat pumps and refrigeration units to balance the heat requirements of different buildings, from an energy-efficient building shell (a first external skin in anodized aluminum mesh is followed by a second in glass and aluminum insulation) and by an advanced lighting management system with automatic control of brightness levels in every single space.
Of the 35,000m2 of the area, 17,000m2 are reserved for greenery, with a planting that favors native species already present in the adjacent Parco Ravizza, such as oak, European hornbeam and black poplar.
The new technology for the SDA Bocconi School of Management
With the inauguration of the new campus, SDA Bocconi School of Management, the post-experience business school that hosted over 12,000 participants in the last year, brings its activities together in a single, ultramodern complex. It is made up of four buildings used for Master programs, offices and executive courses (those for the ongoing training of managers), for a total of 41 classrooms with up to 2,405 seats, two conference rooms for a total of 450 seats, 1,030 study places and 124 offices with 408 work stations.
Course participants enjoys a 360 ° learning experience, thanks to classroom technologies that enhance the interactivity of teaching. Recording of lessons and their transmission in adjacent classrooms, remote interaction between teacher and students and dialogue up to four devices are possible, which can be simultaneously projected on the classroom screen (and the same happens for screens installed in the study places). Access to the buildings also allows you to enjoy a series of services that can be used through the SDAB Life app. Through the app it is possible for the unregistered user to consult all Bocconi and SDA Bocconi events, read the news of the School and also take advantage of training mini-seminars. Users enrolled in a course or event will find in the app a personal QR code that replaces the traditional badge and is the access point to all services related to the building, including automatic registration of classroom attendance.
An interactive map of the complex guides the guest to the classroom or office of interest, and access to the offices, classrooms and lockers are electronic and manageable through the app. This also allows booking of spaces  (study place lockers, meeting rooms or offices) by all users including students, faculty and staff, as well as an invited guest to whom the QRcode has been sent. A sophisticated Building Management System, leverages the Internet of Things to regulates the cooling and heating of each room by reacting to temperature, humidity and carbon dioxide levels. Finally, security is guaranteed by features that guide people to emergency exits in case of need and allow them to call an SOS number.


FACT SHEET: The New Bocconi Campus in Numbers
FACT SHEET: The Other Designers Who Built Bocconi

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by Fabio Todesco

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