HIGH-RISE IN CASCINA MERLATA EXPO 2015

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).

Existing Cascina Merlata masterplan: an enclaves system

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.

Our masterplan proposal. The aim of the thesis was to focus the attention on the construction of the northern border. The other buildings are almost left untouched while the mobility plan and the public space conceiving is modified in order to discard the enclave logic.
Our masterplan proposal. The aim of the thesis was to focus the attention on north border construction. Thus, all the other buildings in the original masterplan were left untouched. Nevertheless, we decided to modify the internal mobility plan and the public space conceiving in order to discard the enclave logic.
Manifesto: a project on temporary habitat, border construction, and territorial links
Manifesto: a project on temporary habitat, border construction, and territorial links
Cascina Merlata Northen border ground floor
Cascina Merlata Northen border ground floor
View from the motorway
View from the motorway
View from Cascina Merlata settlement
View from Cascina Merlata settlement

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.

Tourist flow in Milan. Left side: normal conditions. Right side: Expo Milano 2015 Previsions (2012)
Tourist flow in Milan. Left side: normal conditions. Right side: Expo Milano 2015 Previsions (2012)
Qualified avaliable market
Hospitality nearby Expo - Milano 2015. Business tourists
Hospitality nearby Expo – Milano 2015. Business tourists
Additional facilities for customers
Additional facilities for customers
Project quantities
Project quantities
Main section
Main section
Tower Base plans
Ground floor, 1st f, 2nd f. Tower Base plans
20th f. 4S Hotel
4s hotel. 2-beds room
4S Hotel. 2-bed room
4s hotel. flexible room
4S Hotel. 2+2-bed room
15th f. Temporary housing
Temporary housing. 25 sqm room
Temporary housing
Temporary housing. Soho unit
Temporary housing. Soho unit
7th f. Budget hotel. 8-bed rooms
Low cost hotel. 8-beds room
Budget hotel. 8-bed room
Collective kitchen
Budget hotel. Collective kitchen
Individual work area
Budget hotel. Individual work area
Low cost hotel. Tent units floor
Budget hotel. Tent units floor
8th f. Budget hotel. Tent units
Low cost hotel. Tent units
Budget hotel. Tent units
Tent units
Budget hotel. Tent units
5th f. Budget hotel. Box units
Low cost hotel. Box units
Budget hotel. Box units
Meeting rooms
28th f. Meeting rooms
Cafe, Restaurant and Bar
29th f. Cafe, Restaurant and Bar
Restaurant
30th f. Restaurant
Façade construction conceiving
Façade construction elements
Double skin façade details
Double skin façade details
Ground floor details
Ground floor details
Structural main section
Structural main section
On-site bidirectional waffle slab with reusable formwork
On-site bidirectional waffle slab with reusable formwork

 

Energy consumption summary
Energy consumption summary