Palazzo Sistema - Regione Lombardia
The building and its presence in the city become the opportunity to study a new type of space, public and natural at the same time. A covered park, a square sheltered from the rain where it is possible to meet and play even in bad weather: a type of space missing within the very rich offer of public spaces and parks in Milan and Europe. The building becomes a technological and natural space at the same time, a point of reference for the city that allows you to explore with wonder and adventure a new type of urban landscape.
If we think about the meeting places used by the majority of citizens, that (often mistakenly) are considered public space, we realize how, from an environmental point of view, these places are similar. Perhaps because of climate change, or perhaps because of our growing dependence on comfort, we notice how people increasingly choose to meet in closed, air-conditioned spaces, identical places all over the world, with the same perfect temperature and humidity conditions constant throughout the year. The social space for many citizens has been transformed from a square to a shopping centre. Rather than talking about non-places, or mentioning junkspace, it seems more current to talk about places of disconnection from context, nature and the environment. Cultural studies specialist Eva Horn, in her essay “Climates: Architecture and the planetary imaginary”, defines these places as "cocoons of identical air throughout the planet" that liberate human society from the effects of nature.
Starting from these assumptions, the project proposes a new type of public space for Milan, a meeting and social space that can become the point of contact between the Region and the city, between the building and the neighbourhood. An attractive and iconic place within the city, which can become a new space to visit and experience, even for those who come from far away. An experimentation on a new way of being together, which brings citizens close to the environment and the landscape, in a moment of critical transformation of society. The space that the project offers to the city can be defined as a covered park, a reunion space between man and nature, where the climatic conditions are regulated by shading and natural elements. Living the park and its covered part becomes a new way of being together and discovering nature, even when the weather conditions do not permit it. The meeting space, instead of becoming an element extraneous to nature, almost becomes an "enhanced nature" that allows it to survive the conditions of the current context.
The project makes it possible to rediscover, in an almost romantic way, how a forest, the presence of water or the shadows of the trees can offer refreshment from the heat island that forms in our cities, or how protection from the wind or rain can offer the feeling of warmth in winter, allowing us to use a space all year round. In summer, thanks to the circulation of air and the presence of some plant systems, the covered park becomes a cooler place, where you can rest or work. In winter, the protection from the wind and rain offers a shelter and allows you to experience the park even in the seasons when it would be impossible. The approach of using open space becomes a strategy for the transformation of urban systems, where the landscape plays a fundamental role. Experiencing greenery and open space can change objective or imperceptible aspects of a city, from its temperature, to its safety, to its economic and cultural vitality.