M.SC. DEGREE THESIS. THE ROLE OF TALL BUILDING IN CASCINA MERLATA-EXPO 2015 TRANSFORMATION PROJECT. A RESEARCH PROJECT ON TEMPORARY HABITAT, BORDER CONSTRUCTION, AND TERRITORIAL LINKS.
by Monica Bramanti, Beatrice Galimberti, Anna B. Rossi.
Supervisor Maria Grazia Folli
Architecture-Building Architecture M.Sc. degree thesis, Politecnico di Milano, A.Y. 2012-2013
We chose our M.Sc. thesis issue in 2013. At that time Milan 2015 Universal Expo building site future was uncertain: which advantages it would brought for territory during the 6 months of exposition? Which after? The conceiving of Expo area as a fragment with a potential strong territorial influence was one of the few clear features. At the southern margin of Expo area, Cascina Merlata settlement construction just started, envisaging a vast, oversized, introverted, and self-referential new 9.000 inhabitants district, with a mixed functional program (housing, temporary hospitality, commercial, leisure, offices).
Our goal was to redesign the northern border of Cascina Merlata, an area projected between two futures: Expo and the new settlement. We preserved some aspects of northern border original use program, but we felt free to radically chance many other aspects by enhancing the territorial connection, designing a new masterplan, discarding enclave logic through mobility and public space, and modifying the shape of the border. Being so close to high-speed infrastructure could be a key feature for territorial connections, tertiary, and temporary hospitality (northern border functions). We defined the highway border as a cell membrane (Sennet 2012), establishing physical relations with the nearest context and visual relations with infrastructures. For its positioning, dimension, and role this project couldn’t be faced with typologies tools but with a volumetric way of thinking.
We focused particularly on one masterplan building: the tower hosting different kind of temporary hospitality (4star hotel, budget hotel, temporary housing). Through its vertical dimension, the tower was not just an Expo feature, but an icon establishing relations with closest and farthest contexts.
We conceived our thesis as a research moment to set a coherent, complex, and realistic blueprint. We faced the issue from different points of view, in order to give an original contribution to contemporary temporary habitat forms. To do that, we deepen our purpose’s feasibility aspects from a strategic, economic, structural, and technological point of view.