Biennale-Sessions_2018/6-8JUL: Hideaway

July 10th, 2018


Probably the first serious construction work children undertake is a blanket fort. For the structure to be built and withstand playing requires numerous attempts. And although it collapses frequently, this failure is not usually too painful, it takes only a few bruises before the right method is eventually discovered. Kids are thankfully not discouraged easily as to build is a natural way to learn about gravity and material properties.

Furniture found at home is transformed into various tents, hideaways and pillow forts not just to make a mess. Through these temporary pavilions children adjust the surrounding environment to their own scale. In a kind of primal way it gives a sense of safety by just reducing the height of the space and changing its proportions. This self-created space gives freedom to imagine, enhance creativity and invent new solutions.

This engagement to play is remarkable. But so is an architect’s way of designing and testing the building. One way it can be done is through a scale model. How similar it is to playing. What could be said is that we imagine and model possibly with the skills first acquired by building a blanket fort.

This is what this maquette represents. The first structural curiosities, creating a new space with known components, a temporary change to the known, an experiment. An architecture without architects.


Kamila Milewska

Biennale-Sessions_2018/6-8JUL: METAPHYSICAL HOUSE

July 10th, 2018



The project consists in the design of a small exhibition house for a collection of some of the metaphysical, enigmatic and ambiguous paintings of the artists De Chirico and Magritte, to be placed in an empty plot between the street Weteringschans and a canal in Amsterdam, near Vondel park and the Rijksmuseum.
To transpose the themes of the collection into architecture and to relate the project with the context we worked through architectural categories such as materials, space, light, and with the concept of gravity.
The volume that hosts the exhibition is, in fact, detached from the ground. In this way the ground floor becomes a free space, designed to be a public garden for the city, in relation with the street, the canal and the exhibition house.
A permeable wall with some openings calibrates the relation between the public garden of the exhibition house and the street, creating different perspective and point of view from the street to the canal.
The landscape of the garden is designed with the aim of giving the opportunity to live a flexible and public space in relation with the water.
While the whole ground floor relates itself with the materiality of the context through the use of bricks, the suspended volume has a grc cladding resembling concrete, with an overlaid glass skin that reflects the surrounding, giving to the volume a sense of metaphysical abstraction.
Entering in the exhibition the visitors will have to follow a path designed to be a sequence of different atmospheres, achieved with the contrast of dark and light spaces, compression and dilatation in height, creating a complex and exciting succession of spaces.
During the metaphysical experience the visitor is detached from the outside world; only at the end of the path he can visually recollect with the city. The visitor will than return to the garden through the exit stairs, collocated on the south façade, that has a visual contact with the surrounding thanks to the use of perforated panels. These panels create also a screen for the sun during the summer and a stimulating atmosphere with the game of lights and shadows that ends the promenade of the exhibition house.


Biennale-Sessions_2018/6-8JUL: A new theater for Longarone

July 10th, 2018

The project is located in Longarone, in an old and abandoned cement factory. The site is a complex of buildings linked each other, totally in concrete. Our main idea is to give a new performance space in the three silos that are in the middle of the site. We have unified these three cylinders in one organic shape. The parts that we have added are shifted a little bit inside the space, to put in evidence the existing elements. In this way there are some long windows that could be opened only in the lower and upper part, to give light and ventilation at the theater. Furthermore, the curved walls added, inside are covered by timber, for the acoustic and the thermal issues. In contrast, there is a linear structure for the audience, in five floors. This is made by scaffolding and is connected to the residence all around, with bridges. Every floor is in timber and all the structure is in steel, so it could be removed and changed. The main idea of the living space all around, is the use of precast panel for the façade, to hide the structural system of columns in favor of a better systematic division of rooms. In the upper part, there is the dining area with some holes on the ceiling to allow light enters. This space is the common part, and is endowed by a loggia, that could be use in the hot period by actors. Loggias and balconies are so much important because are opened space but covered, and are filters for light and ventilation.
Outside there is an opened theater, for the summer period. The stage become the connection building (on the north side), that hosts only stairs to go up to residence. So, there is an alternative way to see the performance: in the main theater inside the silos the odience looks down; outside, they watch up on the façade of the building.
The main idea is to create a new place for this beautiful city in the middle of mountains.


Design team: Morena Amendolagine and Michela Stamin

Biennale-Sessions_2018/6-8JUL: Jupiter

July 9th, 2018

The theme of this interior design workshop was the creation of an art gallery in the city of Milan. Our design idea starts from the assumption that Architecture is Art. So we decided to give a structural form to the planet of Jupiter. Recently, NASA’s  space probe Juno  had published a series of evocative images that reveal its superficial mass in an unprecedented and almost pictorial way. These illustrations unearthed  various sensations, including curiosity. How could we  inhabit this planet which, unlike the earth, does not present an immediate solid surface but rather a deep gaseous mass? Can man manage to live in such a dimension? We tried to answer these questions through the tool we have: Architecture. Jupiter is divided into three macro parts which are: Atmosphere, Hydrogen and the Solid Core. The atmosphere is matched by the casing created by the artifice of a structural steel mesh, inspired by the wooden structures of Kengo Kuma. This allows us to support a series of pure volumes that represent the human experience within the planet. Around these “floating” volumes, taken from the drawings of the utopist  Yona Friedman, is the whole gas mass of the planet in which they are immersed. The solid core does not have a real transposition in the project because it is unattainable. Overall, the building can be read following a tripartition: the base which is enclosed in a 0.5 m mesh, where the functions of ticketing and offices are located, the central part scanned by a mesh of 1 m and finally the rooftop with a mesh that starts from 2 m and then grows to 4 m. The gallery’s exhibition rooms are located in the last two parts. The building is completed by a basement that houses the functions of: library, bar, bathrooms and technical room.

Project by: Julia Mainenti and Silvio De Mio

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Dynamic Symbiosis.

July 9th, 2018

The project is an experimental concept which aims at the symbiosis of architecture and nature with a thermic and dynamic approach.
The architectonic composition is created with  few clean elements: a series of moving volumes, interconnected with each other, and a glasshouse which creates a conceptual container of forms.
The symbiosis is achieved thanks to dynamic movement of the volumes, which are on rails. This simple concept is dual: on the one hand the house provides a dynamic architectonic environment which changes through time from an aggregated, more traditional space to an expanded, more articulated one; on the other hand there is a storage or continued circulation of hot and fresh air respectively, during winter and summer seasons, both offered by the presence of the glasshouse. Its two different roof pitches are studied in order to accept and maximize the gains of the solar rays in winter (when the sun is low and weak) and summer (when the rays are much more vertical, strong and potentially dangerous).
The concept itself consists of a single family residence which is divided by function and use of space. The functions itselves can be modified to match the owner’s preferences and the only limitation is a core volume in which are located the kitchen appliances and the bathroom, therefore gathering the pipes management altogether.
The structure is a light construction of mainly wood and steel without use of concrete. The approach with nature is therefore emphasized by the use of low-impact materials and by the fact that, with appropriate conditions, the house may sustain itself for what concerns heat and electricity.

Project by: Antonio Bianchetti & Federico Marchesi


Biennale-Sessions_2018/6-8JUL: Kids learning center in Laveno Mombello

July 8th, 2018

The project focuses on the redevelopment of of the ex italian ceramic company in Laveno Mombello, designed by the architect Piero Portaluppi, in a kids learning center.

This project can be considered a gift for the local community of Laveno Mombello because it can remind people the importance of the history of Italian ceramics with workshops for children and multifunctional spaces. The main concept of the project is its “central core” which was immediately identified thanks to the semitagonal shape of the building. This central area on the ground floor has inside a system of video rooms and ore big playground dedicated to the ludic time of the little ones. On the second floor in the central area we find furniture piece where kids can study on its platforms and reading thanks to bookshelves integrated in the forniture. On the ground floor we find a horizontal band of services and the two rooms dedicated to ceramic workshops.
On the first floor we find the horizontal band of the services,an artistic laboratory, and a dance hall  The second floor is dedicated to the library space.

Martina Chiara Nardini

Biennale-Sessions_2018/6-8JUL: Space for an artist

July 8th, 2018

This project is meant to be an extension of Lina Bo Bardi’s Glass House in Sao Paulo, Brasil. The building is located in the middle of a forest, which is the reason why the main theme of the project is the connection between the building and the nature. The scaffolding structure allows to have a very flexible and modulated space, which can be adapted to various  needs. The building has three floors at different heights. Each floor dialogues with the forest outside in a particular way: from the lowest floor, which is located at the height of 3 meters from the ground, is possible to see just the trunks of the trees; from the middle floor, located at the height of 6.5 meters, is possible to see, besides the trees’ trunks, also some of the trees crowns; from the heighest floor, at the height of 14.9 meters, is possible to see on one side Lina Bo Bardi’s Glass House and on the other side the city of Sao Paulo. In this last floor there is also a very important element of the project: a big curtain wall that allows to establish a visual and direct connection between the inside and the outside, combining them.


Biennale-Sessions_2018/6-8JUL The Peninsula of Arts

July 7th, 2018

The title of this exhibition is “Architecture as a gift to people”, a common saying says that “Art is a gift to the soul”.
Our aim for this project was to give people of any age the possibility to live a space which, being composed of green, water, light and solid masses could inspire people, giving them the possibility to socialize, enjoy and be part of this circular art production “Peninsula” we created for Brera’s students and the whole community.
The idea behind this project was in fact to generate spaces for the young artists to work on their art pieces, present and then expose them to the public.

The movement of light and shadow together with the role of transparency were crucial while conceiving this project since the early design phases, such needs are directly transferred in the use of large continuous glazed surfaces and in the folding roof coverings which produce a vibrant rhythm in the main building to which they belong.

The Peninsula is a system composed of three elements:
– the building of the ex. Leva, now dedicated to workshops with plenty of natural light and a cultural cafè to present and discuss the early stages of an art piece;
– the auditorium, to get inspiration by conferences, classes of major artists and present the final elaborates to the educational committee
– the museum, to temporarily expose the art pieces.

The museum is characterised by a continuous ramp which connects the three thematic levels of the exhibition space. Such levels are dig in the ground to prove that to really get the meaning of a work of art you should never stop at the surface, but instead, carve as much as possible into its true essence.

We introduced glazed facades on two sides as we wanted to guarantee a visual connection between the ex leva and the street through the museum, which acts as a filter.
Such intervention was made to prove that artistic creation is a process which allows you to broaden and enrich your vision of the world thanks to the beauty and meaning that are intrinsically present in it.

This is, to us, what a gift really is.



Project by Beatrice Marino and Martina Marino

THE HUB: An exhibition house in Amsterdam inspired by Antony Gormley’s art and philosophy

July 6th, 2018

Part II

The building is designed to have quite flexible and permeable plans. The idea was to keep the most public and common spaces into the front towards the street while the private ones like the artist’s apartments in the core of the building.

The model is representing a 1:20 section of the east facede looking towards the interior garden. In the underground floor there are the service areas and rooms for which only artificial light is necessary. The only natural light is coming from a skylight running along the corridor. This element was inserted to maintain also here a connection with the exterior and the nature to create a meditative space. We wanted to transform this passage in a sort of gallery: three niches where inserted to display Gormley’s paintings.

On the ground we find again a corridor with pivot doors that connect directly to the backyard’s play area. We tried to transform this passageway into a sort of colonnade porch. We wanted it to be a place of transition, but at the same time of junction, between the playing room and the garden to give a sense of unity and to merge the different spaces into only one. We tried to emphasize this fact by putting the same continuous floor both in the interior and the exterior.

On the last floor we converted the corridor into a bigger space: a greenhouse. We wanted to create a place of union, a sort of square –  the center of this floor where to enjoy common time. Although it is in the center of the house, the spot is treated as an exterior area as we remark by keeping the same brick cladding of the façade and the same flooring as the one in the garden. All the spaces on the first level have a direct access to the wintergarden, as a result of the idea that all the users could meet here like it would be the house’s living room.

Benedikte Vefling


THE HUB: An exhibition house in Amsterdam inspired by Antony Gormley’s art and philosophy

July 6th, 2018

Part I

Our project started with the idea of creating a new typology of museum, not a passive environment detached from the daily life of people, but a place for everyone and not just tourists to be experienced freely. So we started to design an exhibition house more than a typical museum, which anyways would have been a simplification of the artist’s work. Following the philosophy of Antony Gormley we imagined our space as a house where you can enjoy your time and where you can have different experiences of daily life, also through the art.

The spaces are always focused on people and their experiences, as Gormley says we wanted to make human space in space. All the rooms are related to some activities like the conference room, the library, the café with free dining space and the sculpture lab and the playing room  in which the art of Gormley has always been integrated.

We imagined the exhibition house as a public space open to everyone but where you feel as you would be in your own private home. The idea was to insert the art in the daily life and so create hub to reunite different typologies of people. For these reason we decided to empathize even more this idea by inserting in the building temporary housing for artists, small apartments that can be visited by everyone.

The northern and western facades of the building are more “closed” with smaller openings to maintain the privacy of the exhibition house but still welcoming with vegetation and with a bench on the street elevation. On the other hand the southern façade towards the canal and the eastern façade towards the garden are more opened and permeable directly connected with the exterior and the landscape.

The north façade seems one unite front while the other facades gain more plasticity thanks to the two different inclinations of the roof that descend towards the garden like a sort of impluvium. The slopes contribute to give a sense of home and protection in the inner side of the building.

Isil Karaoglu


Biennale-Sessions_2018/6-8JUL: FlexiHouse

July 6th, 2018

The storical San Siro neighborhood is located near many strategic points of Milan and for this reason It could be a new reference forum for the city, intended for different temporary users that the city hosts. Currently its potential is not enhanced due to the difficult integration of its inhabitants and due to the lack of services that promote public life and cultural exchange. The goal is to reconcile the private dimension of living with the collective one at the base of which stands values ??such as sharing and sociability, all intended in a cohousing logic. The idea of ??flexi house stems comes from the desire to activate a network of services within each home, thus reinterpreting the private space. This model guarantees greater flexibility of the interior spaces based on the multiple needs of the tenants.


Biennale-sessions_2018/6-8JUL: Recomposing city fragments

July 6th, 2018
  1. The analysis that we have conducted on the city of Dalmine, deepened by an ethnographic work, has brought out the presence of a series of consolidated and separate centralities within it, each with its own identity. Our strategy aims to connect these polarities to each
    other using interstitial green spaces as a connective element, to obtain a new urban identity that takes in consideration the polycentrism of the city, but at the same time consolidating the lost centrality of the municipality . We have given the green spaces the
    role of an attracting element that traces a new urban matrix, outlining and reinforcing the already existing signs of urbanization giving it, at the same time, a new and clearer hierarchy and establishing new relations between spaces. In this way even the green
    residue of urban transformations returns to have a new social and aesthetic value. The intent is therefore to create a strong mix between the built and green surfaces, between
    the private and public spaces, through the moving garden system: a space that man can use but in which his intervention is minimal. There will therefore be semi-permanent
    spaces, which can be modified over time while awaiting a final arrangement. The space within this green mosaic, will be the home of several temporary activities, while a series of multi-functional aggregation spaces will be located in the center of the Greppiana city.


Recomposing city fragments

Biennale-Sessions_2018/6-8JUL: BOX[insidethe]BOX

July 6th, 2018
  • The aim of our project is the upgrading of the Colonia Montana of Renesso, giving it new life and new functions. The fascist colony has a rigid structure made by an overlapping of closed horizontal levels that gives no interaction between spaces. Maintaining the structural elements of the building and its external envelope like a box, we create an empty volume where spaces are all in communication. In this space we Design other small boxes floating in the void completely changing the original image of the building. The first impression you have watching the building from the outside is the same that you could have seeing a fascist architecture cause we made no changes in the elevations, but when you come inside an other world opens to your eyes. This rooms are physically linked one to each other with pathways and from a box you can see what happens in the entire building through a visual connection made by cuts. Going one more time against the design of the building that is made in concrete, our intervention is composed by wood elements that makes clear the differences with the original elements.
    The wood finish of the interiors and the size of the space related to the human dimension gives to the room a cosy and intimate Aspect that perfectly welcome child, the ones for who the building is designed.
    The furniture is made by a white metal modular grid closed by wooden panels for support elements and vertical closers. The grid is composed by the sum of cubic elements that remind the shapes of the boxes. In particular the maquette represents the dance room, one of the artistic boxes, in fact two of the vertical wall are covered by mirrors and the other two by wood. The entrance is defined by the pressure of the pathway in the direction of the boxes, creating a deformed shape of the wall where the furniture are placed. In conclusion the external finish of the entrance is colored with different nuances for distinguishing the functions inside the boxes.



July 6th, 2018

The aim of this project was to design a sports complex in Bovisa Politecnico di Milano campus. The area is situated between Politecnico University and student’s residance, so it is a perfect place for implementing sport facilities and creating unique and continuos complex. Apart from other sports facilities, main accent is put on the swimming pool which was chosen to be the center of activities and gaining of the youth.
Swimming pool is located in a way to provide certain privacy to the swimmers but also to create pleasent atmosphere and view towards the complex and greenery.
Considering the span of the building it was a challange to design a structure, both strong enough to sustain the weight but also light and elegant in terms of aesthetics. Glulam wafle structure was chosen as a perfect answer to such a challenge. Structural net made out of numerous beams creates perfectly sustainable structure in terms of statics while timber as a material helps in acheaving more warm and domestic atmosphere inside the building. Designed as a single cureved structure and avoiding rough edges the effect of fluency and elegancy can be senced observing both from inside and outside. Voids between joimed veams are covered in timber or glass. This muxture of materials helps in creating dynamic interior in terms of light. Glass panels provide with big amount of light while timber panels protect from overheating. This also creates an interesting play of shadows and lights creating different ambient during the day acording to the weather and sun position.
It is important also to mention three main characteristics of the designed structure: modularity, reversibility and seasonability.
This kind of structure helps creating more stable system with reduced dimensions of structural elements, which means that all beams could be designed as elegant and light as possible. All these elements are modular, which means that they can be prefabricated and easily transported to the site, where they can be connected and lifted. If needed, structure can also be easily deconstructed and transported to another location. Mechanically openable roof panels, make the structure seasonable, which means that during the warm days 90 percent of the roof panels could be open and can create the effect of semi open space. Using both glass and timber for these panels, sunlight that can enter the building is controlled avoiding the overheating of the building.

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Biennale-Sessions_2018/6-8JUL: Black Box

July 6th, 2018

The main idea of our project is to put a stage inside the core of the former Castellavazzo cement factory complex, which are the three giant, concrete, cylindrical storage silos nine metres in diameter twenty metres high. We cut them horizontally to put the stage in it. The cuts were made in the way, that parts of the theatre were provided with a different perspective view following the lines of sight of the auditorium. We mostly deleted all the other existing buildings to focus on this part of the building. Emphasizing this with a new structure called Black Box covering the main architecture and shelter the most important part inside. The third important part is the mentioned audience space, from where the spectators are able to watch to both stages of the project. Entering through the gate of complex, the first element that attracts the audience`s attention is a manifesto of the building: the concrete tubes used to produce the concrete mixture. Walking forward they will enter in a little hall with the ticket office and the bar on the right. At this point they are free to choose either to enter inside the Black Box or going outside of the building to reach the outside stage with a water surface. The Black Box is the coffer of the actors’ house and the performance space. It stands for the conceptual idea of the exhibition space: when the light is off you are standing in the dark and you cannot understand what happens around you. This magical moment precedes every performance. Than some lights turn on and you start to draw in your mind the kind of space that it could be. The metal curtains are additions to the subtraction of the parts of the silos. They are the dynamic element of the stage area, complementary to the static essence of the silos. The curtains work also with the feelings of the audience trying to put uncertainty and misunderstanding on the performance space. They do not allow you to measure the dimension of the space and they create a continuous vortex around the silos as well as new forms of stage situations. The stages are fixed onto the surface of the silos creating minimal space for performance. They are designed with the intention to emphasise the height of the silos and concentrate the action space in a small portion to give more tension to the acting moment. The actors can move freely inside the Black Box. The shows can take place at the same time in different places: on the stages, on the stairs, inside the scaffolding and outside the Black Box in the water. These infinite possibilities for the acting allows infinite variations to the same scene. A forth “silo” is the staircase, connecting the whole living space. The living space, designed on the west side, starts from the first floor where there is the changing room and arrives to the fifth floor with the bedroom. The “outside stair” is the only opportunity to reach the different levels, putting the actors directly on stage during their private life. The whole living space is a continuous passage from a more public to a private space. Actors have the possibility to move directly inside the scaffolding, in the audience space and use it as an addition space. The windows are completely integrated to the Black Box. When they are closed they create a unique facade, but when they are open they are showing life of the actors outside and bringing the architecture to life. There are also opening in the wall that stands between the silos and the living space to create a strong connection among these two spaces.


Marisa Spieker

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