The new facility of IULM in Milan is part of a campus that has taken form over time. In this southern part of the city, near the canals, between the center and the suburbs, the settlements are mixed with cultivated fields, and the building stands out as a synthesis of the volumetric requirements.
The red tower (project by 5+1AA) facing the street becomes the landmark of the whole complex. One side is surprisingly luminous and transparent; the pyramid blocks of glass bricks (specially designed) leave a glimpse of the continuous ramp inside.
Security stairs in brick-color metal climb the facades together with a series of protruding blue portholes, apparently placed at random, which actually dictate the figurative rhythm of the whole.
The building-collage that joins, juxtaposes, interlocks different elements makes the tower its point of reference, developing the large hall of the auditorium behind it, wrapped by an elliptical shell clad in green tile that connects outside and inside, continuing with the same finish in the indoor spaces.
In the background a gray parallelepiped with a vaulted roof placed parallel to the street evokes the sheds of the industrial workshops in the surroundings, to complete the additive composition of the volumes. Beside it stands the rectilinear volume of the dining hall, clad in brick, in dialogue with the existing buildings of the campus, reaching the front on the other side to form the entrance steps beside it, reaching the tower and thus ‘closing the circle.’
An architecture-city dedicated to the city, in a successful attempt to improve its margins and its image.
photos by Ernesta Caviola – text by Matteo Vercelloni