A 15,000 sqm, mixed-use university building in Rozzano, a municipality south of Milan, housing several academic departments and student/staff accommodation.
Winner of first prize in an invited design competition, the CDU building was commissioned by the client, Techint SpA, to help improve the status and services of the local hospital, a Humanitas Clinic, by transforming it into a university hospital. CDU needed to provide a new base for the university’s Departments of Medicine, Biotechnology and Nursing Sciences as well as offering residential accommodation for lecturers and students.
The concept of the building was based on the idea that on the one hand the university is an institutional place with a strong collective identity representative of the scientific community, and on the other it is a place of production with classrooms, laboratories, and other flexible spaces for cultivating individual values and identity through education.
The building’s diagram is based on this duality. A dramatic folded surface plane composed of aluminium and glass creates both roof and façade to the collective and public institutional spaces - atrium, canteen, library, circulation and so on - while in contrast to this, glazed, curtain-walled linear volumes extend into the landscape and house the more intimate production spaces such as classrooms, study areas and laboratories.