C.E. Gadda published in 1963 a collection of stories set in Milan and belonging to different years entitled " Accoppiamenti giudiziosi " referring to the duality of the characters of the stories.
The structure of the narrative is organized around the dialogical opposition of antithetical or complementary binary characters.
The design studio aims at investigating the relationship between the architectonic objectivity and the urban collective management.
The purpose is to investigate the possibility of projects not just as mere autonomous objects, but tied couples: an existing building and a new one, a couple of new buildings in dialogue, which by means of tension, imitation, difference, resonance, analogy, separation, overlapping can create an ensemble of functionally rich, formally complex, ambiguous, heterogenous (and ultimatley urban) projects.
The double is constituted either by the dialogue between two physically related objects or by two culturally related entities spread in space and time.
Together elements form an urban diptych and become a singular artifact.
The idea of the ensemble reaffirm architecture as a central agent in the constellation of the city of O.M. Ungers’ “Dialectical city”, concentrating on form and moving forward from the failure of functionalism.
Doubles are a sophisticated tools to engage in a series of dialectic exchanges which would open up new possibilities beyond architectural loneliness and determinism.
The studio investigates the architectural intervention in constant dialogue with each other and with the city, finally questioning the automatic dichotomy of specificity and alterity gathered in architectural objects.
The research into the definition of urbanity is based on the assumption that today there is an urgent need to reunite architecture and urbanism.
Urbanity challenges the limited span of architecture when it is focused exclusively on “design” issues and urbanism, when it promotes an elusive, indeterminate and sometimes neo-functionalist understanding of the contemporary city.
As Kolhoff says: “The city is more than the sum of its buildings”. Indeed, we propose interdisciplinary research into the contemporary city as a connection between an understanding of architecture in relation to the urban form and an understanding of architecture in relation to the political and social economy.
The design studio wants to displays a continued belief in the agency of architecture’s transformative potential exploring the intensified dialectics between possible antithetical qualities of the ensemble of architectural doubles in the urban field. Design studio investigation is based on the faith in the ability of the architectural object to embed a renewed urban relevance. The urban dimension is the main focus, but the fundamental goal is to link architectural form to the reality of the contemporary city.
The city is the only context with both physical and conceptual meaning in which architecture can be understood at a fundamental level; moreover, the city can be known precisely through architecture as a physical artifact. The relationship between the part and the whole, between architecture and urban design, is the central issue underlying metropolitan architecture. A new convergence between architecture and urbanism is necessary in order to carry out investigations into form in the city of the future.
What is the relationship between the architectural dimension of the object and the urban dimension of the whole? Is it possible to create a sense of community both by relating objects and distancing them?
Responsibility of shaping and reshaping a building that is meant to last forever activates the key role of the sustainability of form. Cities nowadays are forced to cohabit with the temporary character of contemporary life and perspectives, thus architecture should probably be as much responsive as it has been since ancient times. An everlasting building form is probably the most contemporary cultural position we could keep today.
A series of areas and buildings is reported by the Municipality of Milan in the new PGT as being in a state of neglect in the part of the city that was formed outside the historical walls.
It is an opportunity for designing a series of projects of different sizes and programs establishing relationships with their surroundings, but also with the more general dimension of the city.
technology and environmental design
Judicious coupling is the founding principle of biodiversity and resilience in natural ecosystems.
In 1995 Howard T. Odum proposed the maximum power principle (MPP) or Lotka's principle as the fourth principle of energetics in natural systems: "The maximum power principle can be stated: During self-organization, system designs develop and prevail that maximize power intake, energy transformation, and those uses that reinforce production and efficiency."
The diversity of a developed ecosystem is actually the result of a process oriented to the maximum power principle, in which each actor, differentiating its activites, takes on a specific role in maximizing the solar energy that can be used in the system, favoring the closure of material cycles.
The studio assumes the MPP as one of the guiding principles of sustainable environmental design, and as an opportunity to boost development in the contemporary urban metabolism.
The project features regarding building technology and environmental design will be addressed through advanced methods supported by open source tools, with the intention to optimize the relationship between building and the environment both in its use phase and in the choice of materials. During the first part of the studio, particular attention will be paid to the knowledge and control of climatic variables, especially the solar component. This activity will be conducted through the presentation of advanced mapping techniques of solar radiation in urban contexts using GIS and open source 3D modeling tools. The mapped information will support the design of the building envelope and the configuration of the outdoor spaces. The final part will combine detailed technological insights with the awareness of the environmental impacts of materials. Databases and specific indicators relating to the building materials environmental loads will be presented and tested on a building portion.