MEET Digital Arts Center / Carlo Ratti Associati

MEET Digital Arts Center / Carlo Ratti Associati

© Michele Nastasi© Michele Nastasi© Michele Nastasi© Michele Nastasi+ 17

  • Design Team:Carlo Ratti, Andrea Cassi (Project Manager), Chiara Morandini, Valentina Grasso, Luca Giacolini, Serena Giardina, Aurora Maggio, Anna Morani, Matteo Zerbi, Aunie Frisch, Andrea Galli, Oliver Kazimir, Gerolamo Gnecchi Rusconi, Alessandro Tassinari
  • Execution:Studio Del Giacco
  • Structural Design :INGEMBP
  • Acoustic Consultancy:Onleco
  • Audio Video Technologies:Audviser
  • City:Milano
  • Country:Italy
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© Michele Nastasi
© Michele Nastasi

Text description provided by the architects. The project occupies a historic palazzo, known for decades as one of the great symbols of cultural life in the city, which has been fully renovated in the last two years with the support of Fondazione Cariplo. At its core, there is a wide vertical public space - including a 15-meter-high habitable stairwell - which can seamlessly turn from theater to workspace to meeting area, and serves as the focal point for all the center’s daily activities and events.

© Michele Nastasi
© Michele Nastasi

With the MEET project, CRA aims to investigate the meaning of physical space in an increasingly digitized world. It argues that architecture should foster unexpected encounters between people, precisely those that are missing in the digital realm. The design of MEET strives to achieve this aim through the hybridization of functions – that is, the possibility for any space to simultaneously host different activities. Such a design approach is best expressed by the central vertical plaza, but it extends throughout the center, to multiple rooms for exhibitions, talks, and performances.

© Michele Nastasi
© Michele Nastasi
© Michele Nastasi
© Michele Nastasi

The vertical plaza at the core of the building embodies the project’s vision. All around a brightly-colored stairwell that moves in a zigzagging fashion, people can stop onto a series of asymmetric landings, enriched by a system of multimedia projections. These spaces can be used for talks, installations, art performances. Most importantly, they encourage chance encounters as people navigate through the building.

© Michele Nastasi
© Michele Nastasi

The MEET venue embeds digital technologies into physical space with an array of advanced projection systems and screens scattered across the building. This allows people to access MEET’s digital archive in unexpected ways. Drawing on the idea of “ubiquitous computing” put forward by scientist Mark Weiser, who argued that digital technology would become so pervasive that it will “recede into the background of our lives”, the project transforms architecture itself into a medium to share knowledge and culture.

Vertical plaza
Vertical plaza

MEET is hosted in a palatial building in the central Milanese neighborhood of Porta Venezia. The palace was built in the early 20th century and expanded by renowned Italian architect Gae Aulenti in the late 1990s. The MEET venue as renovated by CRA and Italo Rota extend over 1,500 square meters (16,000 square feet) across three levels. Among other functions, it accommodates a reconfigurable auditorium and movie theater operated in collaboration with the longstanding Cineteca Italiana, a café, and an immersive hall for digital installations.

© Michele Nastasi
© Michele Nastasi

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Project location

Address:Viale Vittorio Veneto, 2, 20124 Milano MI, Italy

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Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
About this office
Cite: "MEET Digital Arts Center / Carlo Ratti Associati" 29 Oct 2020. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/950424/meet-digital-arts-center-carlo-ratti-associati> ISSN 0719-8884

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