Carlo Ratti Associati has won an international competition for Reinventing Cities, with the design of a new research center placed under a 200-meter-long (650-foot-long) vineyard. Situated close to Milan’s Fondazione Prada, the VITAE project will connect the street level to the roof via a seamless footpath, and will contain a new office building and center for scientific research.
The scheme was the winning entry to the Reinventing Cities competition organized by the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, committed to addressing climate change through urban projects that drive carbon-neutral and resilient urban regeneration.
VITAE is situated on a vacant, post-industrial lot in south Milan, which will be transformed into a brand new piazza adding more than 5000 square meters of public space to the city. Inspired by the principles of biophilic design, the scheme’s name translates as “life” in Latin and “vine” in Italian. A green path with a vine-covered pergola gently rises along the walls of the building, creating a long promenade for pedestrians. People who explore the green spiral pass close to a series of terraces and greenhouses for urban farming and hydroponic cultivation.
VITAE tries to address humankind’s innate ‘biophilia,’ as formulated by the great American biologist Edward O. Wilson. We are talking about the natural tendency of our species to seek our happiness through immersion in nature. Thanks to new technologies, it is now possible to achieve this goal even in the heart of the city – this is particularly relevant in a building that is devoted to scientific research.
- Saverio Panata, partner at CRA and project manager of VITAE
The VITAE building will host a farm-to-table restaurant on the ground level, high-tech offices above, and a series of facilities for the leading molecular and oncology research center ICOM, including terraced guest rooms for its international researchers, on the higher floors. This array of functions seeks to create a harmony between nature and science, public and private life.
Construction is due to begin in late 2019.
Team Lead: Covivio Development
Architect: Carlo Ratti Associati
Environmental Expert: Habitech
In collaboration with Fondazione Politecnico di Milano
Technical consultants: Tekser, Milano Engineering, Studio Idrogeotecnico, Studio di Ingegneria Rigone, DSB Landscape Design,FSC Engineering Srl
CRA Team: Carlo Ratti, Giovanni de Niederhausern, Saverio Panata (project manager), Valentina Grasso (project leader), Anna Morani, Matteo Zerbi, Giovanni Trogu, Ina Sefgjini, Nicola Scaramuzza, Alberto Benetti, Oliver Kazimir,Francesca Marino, Greta Stefanova
Renderings by CRA Graphic team: Gary di Silvio, Pasquale Milieri, Gianluca Zimbardi