News release - 2019

Architecture: Premio Neolaureati ed. 2019 assigned

Premio Neolaureati, an opportunity and an award for the best new graduates, with Ordine degli Architetti di Milano and Politecnico di Milano.
Premio Neolaureati, created by Ordine degli Architetti di Milano, wants to put the authors of the best theses from Politecnico di Milano in touch with the professional and cultural realities of design, architecture, urban and landscape planning, and conservation. Projects participate in the competition upon recommendation by the representative delegates of the association in the degree boards of Politecnico.
The winning thesis Sewing Ahmedabad’s Wounds, by Giovanni Gualdrini, thesis supervisor prof. Giulia Setti, wanted to analyze the relationship between the context of social segregation between Muslims and Hindus, and the urban fabric of the Indian capital of Gujarat, Ahmedabad. One of the founding elements of Indian society is the community dimension that allows the coexistence of different ethnic groups in the same territory.
The thesis identifies in the historical urban fabric a complex cluster in which communities in strong contrast, Muslim and Hindu, still coexist in conditions of high density housing, defining an interesting place to confront.

This work proposes a strategic design intervention with the aim of transforming the contact points from spaces of division to spaces of relationship between the two communities.
Starting from the labile relationships and the present problems, the strategy intervenes both at the infrastructural level trying to answer to the primary needs of the population, and at Community level, seeking to promote the exchange of craft traditions through the construction of meeting spaces such as laboratories and cultural centres.

The jury composed by Alessandro Alì, architect Ubistudio and professor at the Politecico of Milan, Cristina Alinovi, architect and Responsabile settore Urbanistica e territorio, PIM Study Centre, Walter Mariotti, Editorial Director of Domus, Stefano Poli, architect and professor at the Politecnico of Milan, Marialisa Santi, Councillor Ordine e Fondazione Ordine Architetti PPC Provincia Milano have rewarded the work of thesis: "for the effectiveness with which it tells the complex reality of ahmedabad and for the coherence with the scale and the social structure of the historical inhabited in which it goes to insert".

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© image courtesy of ddn design diffusion news + Ordine degli Architetti di Milano

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“Inujima: Architecture becomes Environment”: students' report.

November 3rd/12th 2019. Five selected students from the Master in “Architecture Built Environment Interiors”, supported by the School of Architecture Urban Planning Construction Engineering, attended the “Inujima: Architecture becomes Environment” workshop in Japan, promoted by professor Kazuyo Sejima (founder of SANAA and Full Professor of Architectural Design at Politecnico di Milano).

The workshop “Inujima: Architecture becomes Environment” has been held by professor Kazuyo Sejima and coordinated by Giulia Setti and Francesca Singer; along with the Studio (IC Advanced Architectural Design Studio) activities in Politecnico di Milano, the workshop represents a way to understand Inujima island and, moreover, the poetry of Japanese contemporary architecture.

A journey into Japanese architecture
It was an itinerant workshop that let us experience the real Japanese life.
In Tokyo, we were welcomed by SANAA staff just before leaving for Inujima, one of the islands where the Sotouchi Art Triennale takes place.
Since it was the project site of the course held by Sejima San, together with professor Jonas Elding, we all knew the island very well, but being there was surely different and a great experience.

During the days spent on the island, we had the possibility to work directly in contact with some of the Sejima’s pavilions, helping in their maintenance and improving Inujima’s conditions.
After leaving Inujima, we had the opportunity to visit the nearby islands of Teshima and Naoshima, where we could admire Ryue Nishizawa and Tadao Ando’s art museums.
The trip continued in Kyoto, the imperial city, constellated with its historical temples, gardens and cultural traditions.

Back in Tokyo, we had the possibility to visit some of the most recent buildings designed by SANAA, guided by the office staff that also joined us in the visit of Sou Fujimoto and Jun’ya Ishigami’s offices.

Then we visited the city center, in order to have an architectural tour: more than a tour, it actually turned out to be a lesson about the Japanese modern and contemporary architecture, its origin and its development.
It has been an amazing experience, that let us deeply understand the Japanese culture and architecture and gave us the desire of going back in Japan.

Stefano Di Zazzo, Gloria Mariotti, Simone Marzorati, Alesa Metka Micacchi, Giulia Procaccini.

Polimiworld | A new double Architecture degree with Southeast University

The fruitful collaboration between the Politecnico and the prestigious Chinese School of Architecture continues.
The Politecnico di Milano and the Southeast University of Nanjing (China) signed, on the 25th of November, an agreement for a Double Degree in Architecture.
It is one of the outcomes of the memorandum of understanding signed in 2018, with which the two universities agreed to intensify bilateral relations.
This agreement is of great importance, as the Southeast University School of Architecture, founded in 1927, is the first architecture university school in China, has formed some of the most notable Chinese architects and is particularly prestigious for the quality of its academic research. It is also among the first positions in terms of Schools of Architecture according to Chinese rankings.
Attributing equal importance to both the artistic and technologic side of the discipline, the School is currently developing three principle subjects - Architecture, Urban Planning and Landscaping - that directly correspond with our School of Architecture Urban Planning Construction Engineering programs.

The Politecnico di Milano delegation is made up by Prof. Emilio Faroldi - Vice Rector, Prof. Ilaria Valente - President of the School of Architecture Urban Planning Construction Engineering, Prof. Federico Bucci - Vice Rector of the Polo di Mantova, Prof. Laura Pezzetti, proposer of the double degree program.

The BOOK-MOOC Archaeoastronomy finalist at the Reimagine Education Awards 2019

The innovative app designed by METID and Giulio Magli, which integrates augmented reality, MOOC and the book.

“Archaeoastronomy: the science of stars and stones – an augmented BOOK-MOOC”, is among the finalists for the 2019 edition of the QS Reimagine Education Awards, in the category: VR/AR Award.
An app designed by METID, the Politecnico di Milano “Innovation Teaching and Learning” Task Force, with Professor Giulio Magli, professor of Archaeoastronomy, that integrates interactive models in augmented reality, MOOC Archaeoastronomy and the related book published by Springer.
Archaeoastronomy is a relatively new science that deals with the connection between astronomic phenomena and the design of many ancient monuments. This product integrates different strategies, methodologies, and tools to allow the wider public understand the complex phenomena that characterize a discipline like archaeoastronomy.
But what is an “augmented” book? By “augmenting” a book, you connect various online resources, videos and 3D models with one another, via a web app. “Augmenting” a book allows the readers to enjoy an experience of complete learning, and to attain effective, long-lasting knowledge, irrespective of their cultural background and their knowledge goals.
An augmented BOOK-MOOC needs a mobile device - smartphone or tablet - to display all the tools provided, and to allow the users to use various types of content: hard-copy printed (to be read, underlined, and make notes on), video lectures (to watch and listen to), and virtual 3D models (to manipulate, rotate, light up, and manage in space and time), as well auxiliary tools that can include animations, quizzes, connections, and exercises.
Such a wide range of experiences allows readers to become active explorers, approaching the knowledge from various perspectives.
At the same time, Reimagine Education is a conference and worldwide competition that brings together educators and professors, start-up EdTech, universities, investors, and anyone who is transforming the world of education.
Our project was selected from among more than 1500 international candidacies, and will be presented at the Reimagine Education Conference in London on 9 December 2019. The following day, the winners will be announced at the final awards event.

Polimiworld | First Politecnico di Milano lesson at the Chinese Xi’an campus

First Politecnico di Milano lesson at the Chinese Xi’an campus
Prof. Pignari kicks off the educational activities of the Joint School of Design and Innovation Centre

The first official lesson of the Joint School of Design and Innovation Centre of the Politecnico di Milano and of the Xi’an Jiaotong University (XJTU) took place on November 28th in one of the lecture halls of the 11,000 m2 building designed by a team of architects of the Politecnico di Milano.

The lesson, on Electromagnetic Compatibility, was held by Professor Sergio Pignari, the Rector's Delegate for the strategic XJTU project.
The lesson was attended by a large number of international students, attracted by the innovative teaching approach adopted, with principles such as international exchanges, cooperation, teamwork and interdisciplinary integration underlying the new Joint School project.
On the same day, the chairman of the city of Xi'an visited iHarbour - Western China Science and Technology Innovation Harbor, and the Joint School building was one of the stops on his visit, during which he was accompanied by Prof. Wang Shuguo, President of Xi'an Jiaotong University.
The Joint School of Design and Innovation Centre is an important milestone for the internationalization of our university, as it is our first campus outside Italy. This center of teaching excellence and innovative research is capable of synergistically enhancing the strengths of our two countries.

The new Centre aims to welcome 2,000 students and 100 professors, offering an international platform for training talent and for implementing research projects to support the technological innovation of Italian and Chinese companies.

Our collaboration with XJTU, one of China’s most important universities, has being ongoing for more than ten years, and has long been offering double degree projects in all the main areas of Engineering and Architecture.

Award Ceremony of the International Architecture Competition ABC | MONZA 2019

Award Ceremony of the International Architecture Competition ABC | MONZA 2019
Milan - Sala Buzzati - 28.11.2019

On November 28th, 2019, in the setting of Sala Buzzati in Milan, the ceremony was held to award the winners of the International Architecture Competition ABC | MONZA 2019.
With a focus on both students and professionals, the competition viewed the victory of projects of considerable impact.
Two international juries have evaluated all projects with recognized competences both in the "classic" architectural field and in that of Architecture 4.0.

The prize for Architecture worth ten thousand euros went, accompanied by the astonishment of the defendants for the high level of the proposal, to the Metamorphosis project of the group of students of the AUIC School of the Milan Polytechnic Y = 3A + B, Elisa Annoni, Ilaria Aranci, Marta Alberti, Salvatore Borgese.

Annexed to this is a mention for Sustainability as proof of the quality of the idea.

Polimiworld | Design for People: Views from Teaching Practicioners - AUIC PoliMi in China

26/11/2019 The PoliMi delegation composed of professors: Emilio Faroldi - Vice-Rector of Politecnico di Milano, Ilaria Valente - Dean of the School of Architecture, Urban Planning, Construction Engineering, Federico Bucci - Vice-Rector of the Mantova Campus and Laura Pezzetti - Delegate for the International relationship with Tsinghua University - School of Architecture.
Our Delegation has been involved on a mission to Beijing for the ceremony for the signing of the Double Degree Program in Architecture with Tsinghua University (agreement signed in June 2019).
They also had participated in the Design for People Forum: Views from Teaching Practitioners, from the "Tsinghua Thinking Architecture Forum" series - no. 12.

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A new double degree in Architecture together with Tsinghua University.
The fruitful collaboration between the Politecnico and the prestigious Chinese School of Architecture has been expanded.

On 25 November 2019, at the seat of the Chinese university, the Politecnico di Milano and the Beijing Tsinghua University celebrated the signing of an agreement for a Double Degree Program in Architecture which was ratified in June.
The agreement is of great interest, as the Tsinghua University School of Architecture is a Chinese excellence, evidenced by rankings and international awards.
This double degree program in the architecture area strengthens and expands the partnership between our two universities. Student mobility agreements and double degree programs in engineering and design, in fact, are already operative. And additionally, the significant agreement on the Joint Platform at Bovisa Tech, signed in April 2018, which made Milan the city chosen to be the European hub for Tsinghua for the largest Chinese innovation complex.

The Politecnico di Milano delegation is made up by Prof.   Emilio Faroldi - Vice Rector, Prof. Ilaria Valente - President of the School of Architecture Urban Planning Construction Engineering, Prof. Federico Bucci - Vice Rector of the Polo di Mantova, prof. Laura Pezzetti, Delegate for Relations with Tsinghua University - School of Architecture.

Our delegation also took part in the Design for People Forum: Views from Teaching Practicioners, in the “Tsinghua Thinking Architecture Forum” series.

Two students of our School awarded the Luigi Zordan Award - first special mention for the "thesis proposing original structural concepts and innovative building systems" category

Luigi Zordan Award, section B1, University of L'Aquila. I Special Mention to two graduates of the AUIC School of the Politecnico di Milano, Erica Nonis, and Edoardo Del Conte, with a thesis that dealt with the themes of the reuse and enhancement of disused military buildings in Friuli Venezia Giulia. The title of the argument: BEYOND THE THREADED WIRE, stories of abandonment and reuse of disused Military Heritage. Supervisor: Luca Maria Francesco Fabris. Co-supervisor: Claudio Sosio De Rosa.
The Graduates participated in the Luigi Zordan Prize organized by the University of L'Aquila. On 10/24/2019, they went to the University of L'Aquila to collect the award as the first special mention for the category "thesis they propose original structural concepts and innovative construction systems."

This thesis was born from the desire to give a global answer to a wide and unsolved problem: the large amount of abandoned military buildings, spread over the Friuli Venezia Giulia territory. It may be difficult to notice this patrimony: the area beyond the barbed wire may be seen as a non-existent place, a wormhole. Friuli Venezia Giulia is full of these wormholes. Official figures indicate a total of 407 abandoned military sites, occupying 102 km2, that is the 1,3% of the Region area. In the 60’s more that 50% of Friuli Venezia Giulia was subject to military servitude. This territory was one of the most militarized area in Europe. Until the end of the 80’s this military presence represented, at the same time, a constraint and an economic engine. After the Cold War, many of these military barracks have been gradually decommissioned; as result, nowadays about the 95% of the military patrimony is abandoned.
What can we do to restore dignity and meaning to the great Friulian military patrimony?
How can we turn a problem into a potentiality?
With our thesis we did not want to create an abstract project, we wanted to understand this phenomenon deeply in order to be able to give an answer, through architectural tools, to the territory needs. Many times designers look for new architecture, taller than others, more innovative than others, more iconic than others… we did not. We wanted just to understand the hidden wealth of these abandoned areas in order to design by stressing this potentiality. The choice of Friuli Venezia Giulia is due to its strategic history as well as our will to work on a dear and well-known Region. We decided to look around, to look at what already exists, that belongs to our history, to turn a constraint into a way to build up a new future. We wanted to work on different scales: starting from the analysis of the territory, then we have defined some possible strategies of reconversion and, in the end, we have focused our attention on a case study: the Trieste military barrack in Casarsa della Delizia (UD). Our aim was to provides some interesting food for thought in order to encourage a policy of valorisation and re-use of military abandoned areas.

Ian Ritchie, Laurea ad Honorem

25-10-2019 After the greetings of the Vice-rector Emilio Faroldi and the Laudatio of Professor Marco Imperadori, of the Department of architecture, construction engineering, and built environment, Ian Ritchie gave his Lectio entitled "Light, shadow and non-linear beauty."

In motivating the conferral of the honorary degree, Professor Ilaria Valente, Dean of the School of Architecture Urban Construction Engineering, underlined how Ritchie's work is "Exemplary of the multidisciplinary capacity to promote a measured, innovative, and original architecture, in balance between cultural, social, and technical values."

"His work strictly interprets the integration of the disciplines and practices belonging to the area of ​​architecture and those of Engineering, through a happy synthesis of the technical, artistic, and humanistic founding components of the Polytechnic culture."

Italy's pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai

21-10-2019 Politecnico di Milano is an Italian Pavilion partner and responsible for the Innovation Observatory’s scientific content.

The Expo 2020 Dubai Italian pavilion has been opened in Matera. During the opening event, the design and contents of the Italian pavilion, which is dedicated to the "Beauty connects People" theme, were unveiled.

Politecnico di Milano Rector Ferruccio Resta and Ingrid Paoletti, Rector’s Delegate for International Relationship Expo 2020 – Dubai, participated in the event. The Politecnico is an Italian Pavilion partner and responsible for the Innovation Observatory’s scientific content. Innovative Italian research is on show inside an evocative dodecahedron, divided into the two large Platonic elements representing 'air' and 'water.' The focus is on sustainability and mitigation of environmental pollution.

Resta said: "After Expo 2015, Dubai 2020 is an excellent occasion to show the world our country’s potential. Inside the Italian pavilion is a starting point to a path that looks to the future for innovation. A story in which Politecnico di Milano coordinates the contents and work of universities, research centres and businesses. It is a story made of solutions and innovations, research and successful case studies that will show, within the dodecahedron, an image of a country that, with its historic traditions, knows how to look ahead.”

The project of the pavilion sees the involvement of Carlo Ratti, Italo Rota, Matteo Gatto and F&M Ingegneria.

Laboratorio del cammino: great results

On October 25th, 2019, at the Politecnico di Torino, during the Study Days at the end of the recharged Sardinia summer school (end of August-beginning of September 2019), the Degree Prize Walking in troubled territories, promoted by the Laboratorio del cammino (delegati per il Politecnico di Milano: prof. Marco Mareggi, DASTU, e Chiara Merlini, ABC) will be awarded and by DIST / Politecnico di Torino (

Twenty-five candidates applied.

The prize will be awarded to Jacopo Ascari, winner in Urban planning at POLIMI, Milan office.
The special mention will be given to Sarah Casaburo, a graduate in Sustainable Architecture and Landscape Design at POLIMI, Piacenza headquarters.
The Politecnico di Milano is the promoter of the Laboratorio del cammino, together with other Italian universities.

Il Viaggio della Parola - project co-curator Marco Imperadori - ADI Index 2019 selected

Il Viaggio della Parola. Selected project for ADI Index 2019. Co- curator: Marco Imperadori, Ginette Caron (Ginette Caron Communication Design, Milano), font designer and project co-director, Alessio Pesenti di Nordzinc font treatment, and Caritas Ambrosiana
A program focused on sustainability and environmental respect, by using the conservation, restoration, and recycling of 25 pieces of writings from the façades of the Holy See pavilion at Expo Milano 2015 and their relocation to significant places around the world including Italy (15 relocations), Guinea Bissau, Germany, China, and Canada. Translated into 13 languages, the writings are composed of white, thread-like letters, which have been placed on the white walls of the pavilion and can be read-only through their shadows. An ecumenical, laic, and universal message that goes beyond religions: the selected destinations are all places that bear witness to the presence of the Word in the everyday life of the community and translate universal human values into reality: each community is free to interpret the gift of the Holy See in its own way.

Polimi Students @ Friday for Future

An innovative way of scientific communication accomplished by students of Building and Architectural Engineering on 20/09/2019 participating to the “Fridays for Future” strike.

A group of students of the Advanced Building Physics course, with support by their professor Lorenzo Pagliano analysed recent literature of the global climate crisis.
The selected papers describe how the new state to which earth is being taken by human activities is far away from the stable Holocene conditions during which humanity has developed agriculture and civilization, even in the best scenario among those forecasted by IPCC.
The representation of this climate change is often made on a time scale (from a few decades up to two centuries) which is very short compared to the development of human civilization. This may make the change appear as gradual and relatively small.

On the contrary (Clark, P et Al. 2016) argue: 
“that the twentieth and twenty first centuries, a period during which the overwhelming majority of human-caused carbon emissions are likely to occur, need to be placed into a long-term context that includes the past 20 millennia, when the last Ice Age ended and human civilization developed, and the next ten millennia, over which time the projected impacts of anthropogenic climate change will grow and persist. This long-term perspective illustrates that policy decisions made in the next few years to decades will have profound impacts on global climate, ecosystems and human societies — not just for this century, but for the next ten millennia and beyond.”  

The article review process also identified research (Stefen, W. Et Al. 2018) which analysed a series of physical and biological positive feedbacks. They conclude that a global warming threshold may exist that if exceeded might trigger a sequence of events that will continue to increase the Earth’s temperature even if human emissions were brought to zero.

The data taken from the two articles has been summarised in a graph printed on a large banner (2m x 5 m) which was carried by the students during the ‘Fridays For Future’ strike on September 27th. The banner led the march for the first half hour. This way of communication  appeared to be effective in spreading scientific information in an understandable, impactful manner to all those following the event such as other participants, newspapers and tv channels.


  • Clark, Peter U., Jeremy D. Shakun, Shaun A. Marcott, Alan C. Mix, Michael Eby, Scott Kulp, Anders Levermann, et al. “Consequences of Twenty-First-Century Policy for Multi-Millennial Climate and Sea-Level Change.” Nature Climate Change 6, no. 4 (April 2016): 360 - 69.
  • Steffen, Will, Johan Rockström, Katherine Richardson, Timothy M. Lenton, Carl Folke, Diana Liverman, Colin P. Summerhayes, et al. “Trajectories of the Earth System in the Anthropocene.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 115, no. 33 (August 14, 2018): 8252 – 59.
  • Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Global Warming of 1.5°C, 2018.

First Master's degree session in Landscape Architecture _ land Landscape Heritage

On October 3rd in the classroom E / F - ed.11 - Leonardo campus - at 3.30 pm, there was the first session of Master's Degree in Landscape Architecture _ land Landscape Heritage.
A significant result for the Politecnico di Milano and the AUIC School: three international students (a Vietnamese student and two Chinese from Shanghai with a double degree from Tongji University) will be the first graduates of the new course opened two years ago at the AUIC school and which completes the first two-year cycle.

From the 34 students of the first year, the course today has over 150 students from all over the world and with different and complementary profiles. Lecturers from different departments of the Polytechnic University, the State University, external experts from the world of profession and institutions collaborating in a course that combines, as a polytechnic tradition, training, research, and civic engagement.
The Landscape project - which combines technical nature and culture - is one of the frontier themes with which the Politecnico helps to face the global challenges of sustainability and the quality of life of contemporary cities and territories.
Our congratulations to the Study Course Coordinator prof. Antonio Longo and all the teaching staff involved.

Xi’an: Inauguration of the "Joint School of Design and Innovation Centre" with XJTU

The "Joint School of Design & Innovation Center" was inaugurated in Xi'an on 7th September 2019, a university building for research and teaching at the Milan Polytechnic and Xi'an Jiaotong University (XJTU).

Design by professors Pierluigi Salvadeo and Remo Dorigati.

More details:

Arte Sella Architecture project and MantovaArchitettura

During 2019 the Arte Sella Architettura project was consolidated, which in recent years saw the participation of internationally renowned architects, such as Kengo Kuma, Michele de Lucchi, and Atsushi Kitagawara, called to interpret the relationship between architecture and landscape at the garden of Villa Strobele, with the scientific advice of prof. Marco Imperadori, Professor of Planning and Technological Innovation of the Politecnico di Milano.

The place, hit hard by the storm, was the subject of an effective cleaning and reconstruction intervention in early 2019 and was reopened to the public on 1 May 2019.
On Sunday 19 May the Pritzker Prize Eduardo Souto de Moura presented to the public a work he described as "The last bastion of architecture: this is what we have left ...".

The work of Eduardo Souto de Moura, in Tonalite dell'Adamello, is located in the wood of Villa Strobele. A "door" that connects the park of Villa Strobele to the forest, a sort of contemporary "dolmen" that the Portuguese Pritzker Prize wanted to place at the edge of the exhibition space and towards the mountain, struck by the disaster of late October 2018. Solid and "perennial", the work is actually calibrated and contained with respect to the force of the surrounding nature, and stands as a transit threshold and "architectural bastion", as the author says, to make us reflect both on the sense of architecture and on our to be fragile in the face of the force of matter, nature and its events.
At the event at Villa Strobele, the architect's Lectio Magistralis was followed at Malga Costa.

The event was organized in collaboration with MantovaArchitettura, an exhibition curated by the Mantova Campus of the Politecnico di Milano, and thanks to the contribution of Pedretti Graniti.





International Workshop Southwest Jiaotong University di Chengdu: Team AUIC first out of 24

The Politecnico di Milano and the School AUIC obtains a great recognition in “The Southwest Jiaotong University International Construction Festival"  in Chengdu.

A team of five students from the Architectural Design Studio of AUD held by prof. M. Meriggi  - Darta Adamsone, Tommaso Genco, Cloé Mestre – Caron, Federico Taravella and Ewa Tomczyk, tutored by arch. Lapo Sarfatti, has designed, engineered and built the artifact that was awarded the victory in front of the authorities of Southwest Jiaotong University -  Xu Fei (Rector), Feng Xiaoyun (Vice-rector), together with the members of the Jury Zhang Wei, Sun Cheng, Li Xiaofeng, Cai Yongjie, Fan Yue, Liu Yi, Zhao Shichen.

The "Southwest Jiaotong University International Construction Festival" is now in its sixth edition and Politecnico di Milano  has been honoured to take part together with other universities including: Hong Kong, Taipei, the Japanese Kyushu, the Polytechnic of Catalunya and the University of Science and Technology of China, for a total of 24 teams.

The topic of the Workshop  - "An architecture for game" – had been interpreted with the realisation of a cubic pavilion entitled “A game of stairs".
The work began in Milan in the Architectural Design Studio, then moved to Chengdu for the construction phase. The outcome is a dark cube featuring carbonized wood. However, this elementary structure has five irregular openings that let the light in from above, emphasized by bright wood of the inner walls. From inside, three paths are articulated: one is a crossing passage, while the other two are an indirect sequence of steps, leading upwards to a terrace, which opens up to the surrounding landscape.

Inauguration of Green Living Lab San Siro


Until just a few weeks ago, anyone walking along Via Abbiati, a 300m long street that cuts through an historical neighbourhood of social housing in Milan’s San Siro area, would not have been struck by the beauty of the area. Flaking high-rises, illegal building, pavements overrun with illegally parked cars, abandoned rubbish and walls continually covered in graffiti. A sense of abandonment and neglect which the diverse and dynamic population in the area certainly don’t deserve.
On Sunday 24 March all this changed with the inauguration of GreenLivingLab San Siro. A day of activities, workshops and games to celebrate the urban regeneration work which is the first step in enabling the residents to take back this corner of the city and start to use it again as a public space.

Attending the event were Mayor Giuseppe Sala and Councillors Marco Granelli, Lorenzo Lipparini, Pierfrancesco Maran and Gabriele Rabaiotti. Representing the Politecnico di Milano – one of the key players in this project – Prof. Gabriele Pasqui, Director of the Department of Architecture and Urban Studies and Rector’s Delegate for social policies and Prof. Francesca Cognetti De Martiis, Rector’s Delegate for social responsibility for the territory.

Today Via Abbiati looks completely different. The pavement, previously overrun by cars, is now painted with zebra designs and children’s games marked out on the tarmac, which were partly chosen by the residents. Planters have been built enabling residents to experiment with communal gardening. New bicycle racks have been installed, as well as deterrents to illegal parking and small archways to protect pedestrians on the pavements, measures that along with the new 30 km/h speed limit will make the road safer. All this is framed by a large decorative sign made of metal with the phrase “TAKE CARE”, the inspirational slogan behind the project. The revitalisation of the area also includes a programme of activities organised by the associations who made the decision to take care of this space.

GreenLivingLab San Siro is the product of a partnership agreement for the joint care of communal assets signed by the City of Milan, the Research-Action Mapping San Siro group from the Politecnico di Milano, Municipality 7 and the associations, Alfabeti Onlus, Genera and Imby, with the collaboration of Retake Milano.

The project is a pilot action within the framework of the European project “SoHoLab – the regeneration of Large-Scale Social Housing Estates through LivingLabs”, which won funding from the Belgian King Badouin Foundation and the Cariplo Foundation.

The work was made possible thanks to the innovative tool of a partnership agreement, introduced in 2018 by the City Council, which aims to entrust the public with the care and management of communal assets, creating a relationship of equality, sharing and close collaboration with municipal authorities.

“Today we are celebrating handing back Via Abbiati to its residents, which has been made possible thanks to the innovative tools of tactical urbanism and partnership agreements on shared administration of communal assets,” said Councillor for Participation, Active Citizenship and Open Data, Lorenzo Lipparini. “Thanks to the hard work of many organisations, this part of the city can now finally come back to life and become invigorated, improving the quality of life and use of public space to the benefit of all the residents in the neighbourhood.”
(source: news polimi)

Off Campus San Siro opens

New shared spaces in the city restore value for the common good

17 April saw the opening of Off Campus San Siro, the Politecnico di Milano’s new space that is open to the city. It is the first of a series of shared spaces that we plan to create with the aim of moving out of the Politecnico’s historical sites to become more deeply integrated into the area and be part of the huge transformations happening in our city.


The Off Campuses will be physical spaces situated in various neighbourhoods throughout Milan, often in the suburbs, and will promote:

  • innovative teaching for students and professors to develop new skills through working in real world settings
  • responsible research aimed at developing inclusive knowledge production processes
  • project co-design and development to directly support stakeholders and local communities

The project is promoted by Polisocial, the Politecnico di Milano’s social responsibility programme, a fundamental part of the university’s Third Mission. We want to build a new relationship between the Politecnico and the city, testing our teaching methods, immersing them in the local situation and connecting them to local places and people, in a huge, stimulating workshop. To do this we took inspiration from major experiments carried out abroad, such as those by Harvard University, the University of Sheffield and the University of Chicago.

The new 130m2 space provides a number of rooms for various activities:

  • Urban room, a working space for project development, responsible research and innovative teaching
  • Neighbourhood open archive
  • Live-net, a meeting space for associations and other stakeholders
  • Educult, a space for cultural and educational activities open to the neighbourhood and the city
  • Neighbourhood bistro, a fully-equipped social space
  • Legal clinic, a legal office providing education on legal matters, managed by the Università Bocconi

A schedule of events has also been planned which will be added to over time with seminars, open classes and neighbourhood meetings. We will shortly be publishing the dates of the first few events.

The Politecnico has been in the San Siro neighbourhood for a number of years and has developed projects that have been fundamental to establishing the new Off Campus. The action research workshop Mapping San Siro has been based in the neighbourhood since 2014 in a building named Trentametriquadri (Thirty square metres). WRP – West Road Project, winner of the Polisocial Award 2017, operates a system for activating networks and public spaces in the suburbs of zone 7. The educational programmes Ri-Formare Periferie Città Metropolitana (Re-forming the Metropolitan City Suburbs) and Envisioning San Siro by the School of Architecture Urban Planning Construction Engineering have focused on this area.

The establishment of Off Campus San Siro was made possible through the collaboration of various stakeholders and institutions: the City of Milan, the Lombardy Region, ALER Milano, Università Bocconi, the Cariplo Foundation, the Milan Community Foundation, the Cadorna and Radice neighbourhood schools, the local Sansheros network and a number of companies.

Off Campus San Siro
Via Filippo Abbiati 6, entrance on Via Giacinto Gigante

Info: prof. Francesca Cognetti De Martiis, Rector's Delegate for Civic Engagement and Social Resposibility

The 2019 UIA-CBC International Colleges and Universities Competitive Construction Workshop: Pear Orchard Cabins

The Team led by prof. Laura A. Pezzetti (AUIC- PoliMi) and Wu Di, Cheng Jing (Xi’an University of Architecture and Technology, XAUAT, China) has been selected for the contruction phase of the 2019 UIA-CBC International Colleges and Universities Competitive Construction Workshop.
The UIA (International Unions of Architects) and CBC (China Building Center) have endorsed the 2019 UIA-CBC International Colleges and Universities Competitive Construction Workshop.
Created in 2016, previous editions have been successfully organised in China and acquired recognition at national and international level.
The annual UIA-CBC International Colleges and Universities Competitive Construction Workshop dated from 2016 provides an architectural practice platform that enables students to walk out of their classroom, face the real environment and issues, and implement the full practice from design to construction.
The site of the 2019 UIA-CBC International Colleges and Universities Competitive Construction Workshop is located at Guoyuan Village, Aiyuan Town, Siyang County, a typical trading town at the boundary between two provinces, which is famous for its “crisp white pears”.
Inside the orchard, there are “seven trees”, giving this place the name of “Century-old Pear Orchard”. However, the orchard is now in urgent need of revitalization as the village has been confronted with the problem of primary and monotonous industrial development.
The Workshop takes place in a pear orchard in Guoyan Village (Siyang County, China). which is more than 100 years old, It is in urgent need of revitalisation as the village faces the consequences of industrial development.
The competition consists of two stages with two rounds of corresponding review.

  1. Design stage: the teams submitted their designs to the jury which has selected 15 joint teams.
  2. Construction stage: the 15 selected joint teams are implementing the construction drawing for the on-site construction (August). The jury will review the final built work and select the winners.

Formative Aims
By offering practical construction opportunities, the workshop intends to have students thoroughly understand the Genius Loci, feel the architectural space, and learn things that will instruct their future design and practice. They should use a limited space to design and construct their cabins with a view to improving and revitalising the quality of living in the village.
The participants have worked in joint international teams from an institution in mainland China paired with one from abroad.
Xi’an University of Architecture and Technology has invited Prof. Laura A. Pezzetti, coordinator od the Double Master Degree Programme, to lead the PoliMi-XAUAT team together with Proff. Wu Di and Chen Jing.

Third prize at the Tongji Construction Festival 2019

Third place at the Tongji International Construction Festival 2019
Six PoliMi first-year students at the international workshop organized by the Tongji University School of Architecture.

For the second consecutive year, the School of Architecture Urban Planning Construction Enigneering of the Polytechnic of Milan has sent a representative of six freshmen to Tongji University in Shanghai, where the International Construction Festival took place.

This is a workshop that compared the freshmen of 13 international universities, 19 Chinese universities and 16 work schools of the host school, and whose goal is the design and construction of a small pavilion using alveolar polypropylene sheets provided by the organization.

The six young students of the AUIC School - Minghui Chen, Elena De Pascalis, Mariasole Facchi, Maria Letizia Guido, Andreea Diana Dohotar Muresan, Christopher Piderit - has been selected by prof. Luca Maria Francesco Fabris (AUIC educational contact for Tongji CAUP Architecture), led on-site by the architect Riccardo Maria Balzarotti (research fellow) stood out in interpreting the project theme, inspired by the Chinese love poem "Butterfly Lovers", obtaining the third prize.

The group has worked in the three days available, studying a module that can be assembled that combines simplicity of cut - obtained through the creation of templates - and complexity of the final composition. These modules form the two main walls, side by side and slightly converging so as to accentuate the perspective cone and the sensation of depth. Numerous nylon threads are suspended from the beams that connect the two walls, adding a level of semi-transparency to the reading of the space, symbolizing the main verse of the theme poem of the workshop, whose English translation is: "How deep is the deep courtyard? Willows shrouded in smoky mist, like endless layers of the curtain".

We thank the Chinese National Supervision Committee of Higher Architecture Education, as well as the organizer College of Architecture and Urban Planning (CAUP) of Tongji University, whose referent is Prof. Weijia Tian.

Yona Catrina Schreyer is the only PoliMi student selected by the Norman Foster Foundation

Yona Catrina Schreyer, a student at the Milan Polytechnic, was selected for the OnCites workshop organized by the Norman Foster Foundation.
Only ten students with scholarships downstream of more than 200 applications were selected, and Yona is the only PoliMi student.

(personal report by Yona Catrina Schreyer)
Scholarship of the Norman Foster Foundation // On Cities Workshop 2019

"Following their mission to ‚promote interdisciplinary thinking and research to help new generations of architects, designers and urbanists anticipate the future‘, the Norman Foster Foundation holds seminars and debates, gathering researchers, entrepreneurs, and academics from various fields and backgrounds to share their knowledge with selected students from all over the world. Having been awarded a scholarship of the foundation, I feel honored to have been part of this year’s workshop ‚On Cities‘ that took place in the end of May at the foundation in Madrid, focussing on innovative strategies for urban informal settlements.
The academic body around Sir Norman Foster gave fascinating talks on the current situation of urban cities and informal settlements, reflecting on the issue under various lenses - physics, economics, architecture, anthropology, sociology and urban planning - giving close insight on their individual approach to deal with today’s urban challenges. All seminars were followed by intense discussions between the academic body and scholars and by the unique chance to approach the speakers and continue conversations and personal exchange. A public debate brought parts of the academic body on stage to reflect on the matters altogether. It was another highlight of the workshop, mirroring the complexity of the urban transformation in the talks and, through a questions and answers session, also in the doubts and issues of the public audience.
As the starting point of the week, the group of us scholars gave introductory presentations to the academic body, demonstrating our individual field of study on the topic of rapid urban growth. Under the guidance of the workshop’s mentor, Luis Bettencourt (Pritzker Director of the Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation University of Chicago, United States), we were elaborating on innovative strategies for future cities. The input of the seminars and the possibility to share our knowledge and research from all parts of the world gave a platform for a unique exchange and powerful creative process. The continuous reviews of the academic body on our work offered another layer of reflection through their professional, critical lenses.
We framed the outcome of our discussions and our common conclusions in a manifesto in which we embedded our vision of future cities. Following our manifesto, we developed two projects, addressing the most urgent matters of our discussions through one architectural and one social project, which we hope to carry on forward in the future.
In the amazing setting of the foundation’s headquarter, the team of the Norman Foster Foundation created an inspiring environment for us and empowered us to share and gain knowledge, work and discuss intensely, and encouraged us to invest our strength and ideas not only for the duration of the workshop, but to keep uniting us in envisioning strong future cities."

Second prize for "Affordable Housing in London"

Gennaro Postiglione with Stefania Sabatinelli and Massimo Bricocoli participated in an (architectural) ideas competition on the theme "Affordable Housing in London”  and won the Second Prize. Our new graduate, Nicola Sirugo, has also been involved in the project.

The work is the result of a research on housing that began a couple of years ago and which sees the project team committed to cross-referencing research and teaching by focusing on the strength of tackling the theme with very different disciplinary baggage and skills. It is an important challenge that is now beginning to bear its first fruits, of which a paper was presented at the International Conference "Inside the City" (London Met) and a seminar at the University of Malmö.

The Jury comments:
Coliving and cohabitation serve to increase density by reorganizing the layouts of existing buildings for more efficient spaces, and to include shared amenities for larger groups of inhabitants. The designer of this project, quoting STAR strategies + Architecture, states: “the real revolution in housing is indoors.” The proposal rearranges the interior layout of a typical london housing block, as the designer claims, to mirror the growing variety of job positions and of family arrangements. The ways in which people organize their urban lives to afford housing “is to be more closely investigated, as this brings along significant changes in terms of housing cultures, patterns of solidarity/community, and socio-spatial organization.” The design offers a selection of flexible interior organizational components – including the bathroom core, the equipped wall fitted with shelving and insulation, and movable partitions. The layout accounts for a mixture of user profiles, from the single adult student, to the elderly couple, to the divorced parent with child. The jury wonders, in what other building typologies can this project be applied?


Four winning projects in the fifth edition of the POLISOCIAL AWARD 2018



The prizegiving ceremony for the Polisocial Award 2018 was held in the Auditorium. It was the fifth edition of the competition that recognises research projects with high social impact developed at our university.
Polisocial is the Politecnico di Milano’s programme of engagement and social responsibility which has been running since 2012, one of the first social responsibility programmes in the academic arena in Italy. We decided to adhere to our Third Mission, financing and incentivising research that can track social demand in today’s world. The result is a total of €2,500,000 of financing from 5x1000 income tax donated to our university and other financing provided by external partners to co-finance the initiative.
Cooperation and Development are the themes of this fifth edition and the geographical study area is Africa. It is a continent that is growing rapidly, which puts institutions – particularly cultural and research institutions like the university – in front of important choices. Prosperity, respect for the planet and social inclusion are some of the key drivers for development in this area.
Judging the projects is a Scientific Committee made up of professors from the Politecnico di Milano, assisted by a prestigious Advisory Board of external experts. There are four winning projects, which will be launched at the beginning of March and will run for 15 months. The theme is Smart Cities and Communities: proposed multidisciplinary research paths aimed at identifying local development plans in Eritrea, Mozambique and Somalia.

A remarkable number of professors and researchers took part in the call. In contrast to previous editions, this year’s prize fund is bigger – €500,000 – and is shared among a smaller number of projects which are wider-reaching and focused on the long term. They also wanted to promote interdisciplinarity in the entries: in all there were 9 departments and 35 professors involved.

This financing is only a starting point. Polisocial wants to follow and support the projects, so to this end an additional prize was introduced this year: €30,000 following the intermediate report, to support the launch of the projects’ scalability phase.

The winning projects are:

  • BECOMe | Business ECOsystem design for sustainable settlements in Mogadishu: affordable housing, local entrepreneurship and social facilities – Director: Prof. Oscar Bellini (Department of Architecture, Built Environment and Construction Engineering)
  • BOA_MA_NHA! | Study for the integrated development of the regions BOAne, MoAmba, NamahacHA – Director: Prof. Laura Montedoro (Department of Architecture and Urban Studies)
  • SAFARI NJEMA | From informal mobility to mobility policies through big data analysis – Director: Prof. Simone Vantini (Department of Mathematics)
  • EMotion | Eritrea Mobility and Cultural Heritage: New Frontiers of the Horn of Africa –  Director: Prof. Federico Cheli (Department of Mechanical Engineering)

Advisory Board members: Cheikh Bedda – African Union Commission; Antonella Baldino - Cassa Depositi e Prestiti; Stefano Bologna - UNIDO; Elena Casolari - OPES-LCEF; Cleophas Adrien Dioma - “Migration and development” Group, CNCS; Stefania Mancini - Assifero; Giuseppe Mistretta - MAECI, DGMO; Roberto Ridolfi - FAO; Piotr Tulej - DG RTD, EU.

On the Scientific Committee, Professors: Niccolò Aste, Paolo Biscari, Massimo Bricocoli, Francesca Cognetti, Emanuela Colombo, Emilio Faroldi, Giorgio Guariso, Cristina Masella and Gabriele Pasqui.

Ceremony for the "Laure Larouzè" Study Award - XVII edition - Campus Lecco

Project proposals for "project for an innovative and carbon free development at Greco-Breda area in Milan"

The Award for the “Laure Larouzè  SUSTAINABLE_BUILT_ENVINRONMENT” Prize was presented at the B2.3 classroom of the Lecco Territorial Center on January 15th 2019 - "Re-inventing cities, project for innovative and carbon free development at Greco-Breda area in Milan ", addressed to students of the Master's degree in Building and Architectural Engineering of the School of Architecture Urban Planning Construction Engineering of the Politecnico di Milano, participating in the courses of Sustainable Multidisciplinary Design Process (SMDP) and Sustainable Multidisciplinary Design Process Studio, respectively under the direction of Professors Massimo Tadi and Franck Nolesini.
The award, now in its seventeenth edition, was promoted by the Lecco regional center, in collaboration with Rotary Club Lecco Manzoni and was attended by 15 international student groups from 12 different countries around the world.

The purpose of the initiative has tended to stimulate the active participation and proactive approach of students by increasing the level of knowledge and investigation of the various disciplines that influence sustainable architectural and urban planning together with the possibility of providing an innovative contribution to the debate which concerns the possible transformation of the Greco-Breda area in Milan.

The theme of the competition was, in fact, the design of a "Re-inventing cities, a project for an innovative and carbon-free development at Greco-Breda area in Milan", in the north-east of Milan.
The main objective of the competition is the urban redevelopment of the Greco Breda area, which is part of Milan strategic plan for the regeneration of abandoned railway stations. The site consists of three main parts: the former railway station next to the Greco-Pirelli station, a green area located further east, on Via Breda, and a long and narrow strip of land, home to a disused railway track, which it faces west on the Bicocca district. It is an urban area to be oriented towards the highest standards of energy efficiency and sustainable urban liveability.

The project proposals were called to operate according to an integrated model of a holistic and multi-scalar type capable of integrating the aspects of sustainable mobility, integration, and strengthening of the public transport system, of local energy production together with advanced treatment models of the water and waste cycle; Furthermore, to underline the strategic position of the area, the projects have been called to investigate the role of urban agriculture in food production. In summary, a model sustainable neighborhood that interprets the specific location in a significant infrastructure node for the metropolitan city of Milan.
The presence of one of the busiest railway stations for local services in the Monza direction makes this site a junction of strategic importance in the urban context. The redevelopment of the airport constitutes an opportunity to reduce vehicular traffic and promote the use of sustainable modes of transport, overcoming the railway barrier to allow better pedestrian and cycle connections with the station and with other destinations.

The students formulated innovative project proposals that linked high-tech solutions with the enhancement of the local agricultural landscape, with the aim of obtaining harmonious connections with the existing social, economic, and residential context.
The papers were evaluated by a commission that declared a merit ranking of the ability of the projects to meet the objectives of the competition with particular attention to the technologies adopted with a view to saving energy and environmental sustainability.


  • First classified group 1: Bahaa Zein, Babajaninia Shirvani Street, Ahmed Mohamed Ahmed Lotfy Elmaraghy, Viktoriia Korovina, Helia Khalaj
  • Second classified group 13: Gaber Mona, Francesco Mainetti, Sheikh Haasani Navid, Tabatabaei Ailin, Tajik Ramyar
  • Third place group 2: Arianna Corti, Noam Kalai, Yasman Naezi, Islam Rihan

In consideration of the high quality presented, the jury decided to assign three mentions, (one more than what is foreseen in the announcement):

  • First mention to group 4: Manuela Loza, Nur Yemisci, Asli Nur Timur, Mohammadmahdi Poursheikhali, Hung Yang
  • Second mention to group 6: Modaresi Saba, Marco Rotundo, Parvatharredy Saichandu, Marta Saccuman
  • Third mention to group 8: Giorgia Caniato, Guilihuma Ainiwaner, Ghayouri Reyhaneh, Nemati Ali

 The Jury:

  • Prof. Manuela Grecchi, Vice Rector for Lecco Campus, Politecnico di Milano;
  • Prof. Gabriele Masera, Coordinator of the MSc in Building Engineering and Architecture, Politecnico di Milano;
  • Dott. Alessandra  Pilia, Head of Comunication A.P.I. Associazione Piccole e Medie Industrie representantive Dott. Ing. Stefano Valvason, General Director A.P.I. Associazione Piccole e Medie Industrie;
  • Dott. Ing. Chiara Bonaiti, Vice President Rotary club Lecco Manzoni representantive Dott. Avv. Stefano Artese, President Rotary club Lecco Manzoni;
  • Ing. Giancarlo Alderighi, Expert delegate, Rotary club Lecco Manzoni;
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