Today we’re bringing you a thesis project from a group of students at Italy’s Politecnico di Torino. Paolo Carignano, Simona Della Rocca, Fabio Vignolo, Alessandro Capello are all recent graduates of the Politecnico di Torino. There thesis proposal was to increase the density in the cityscape through an understanding and playing of an intricate fabric creating a multi-leveled system throughout the area. The group used their award winning thesis as a springboard, and started a studio together, BAM! Studio, and continue to create great work.
The thesis consists of a Multifunctional-Multilayered building project. It can be viewed as a system composed by distinct elements: three towers oriented with different angles superimposed over a platform, a bridge spanning over the avenue and sustained by two low and wide volumes.
The masterplan we proposed for the international competition “La Metamorfosi” in Turin had its very core in the urban gate embodied by this multi-tower system.
This system was investigated deeply in terms of shape/physical appearance, functions, plans and in its relations with the surroundings.
Since they were conceived as a powerful landmark, the towers have a clear and iconic geometry which make them easy to identify. This simple and monolitic shape is challenged on the inside by a wide variety of functions and spaces expressing the multifunctionality of the building.
Infrastructure as a strategy.
The main concept that guided the design process was the will to fill the programme with as many functions as necessary for the new district. To create a multilayered/multifunction building.
The towers contain residences (luxury, average and social housing) and offices, while the bridge hosts commercial and cultural functions: many shops and bar/restaurants, a library, winter gardens and even a small auditorium. In the lower volumes there are offices (start-ups) and shops as well, together with thefirst two levels of the library.
Taking advantage from the future presence of the underground metropolitan station and of the railway station right aside the avenue, the towers are integrated with the main mobility feature of the city. This happens through the long horizontal “arm” which is connected with the metro station underneath. Inside this linear building mobility streams are put side by side with a museum for the city.
This densification of different functions in a single spot creates a Hub which realizes the concept of the multilayerd building.
The linear element provides the integration with the city’s infrastructure (railway network) and so by transmitting information and culture to people who cross it, it becomes a living building.
The two long façades are covered with screens and light dots (working as “big pixels”) that inform the audience about the exhibitions of the museum, project movies, broadcast news services and promote visual arts.
The direct influence of medias can reconfigure the spaces: transforming them into en-plain-air cinemas, stage for light shows, etc..
Moreover the system is reacting to stimulus coming from the surrounding context: people have been enabled to participate and interact with the projected contents through wi-fi connected devices (such as mobiles, laptops, terminal, etc..) and then modify the appearance of the bar skin. At the same time data coming from the environment can influence the information showed (ex. weather conditions, air pollution).
Along with the project for the towers system we carried over the design for the residential settlement which stands separate but near the multi-tower complex. It is another iteration of the methodology of multilayering.
The main feature of the complex is the presence of a public ground floor conceived as a platform: allowing the complete pedestrian crossing of the area while hosting commercial functions and sustaining the housing blocks upon it.
A multilayered body once again.
Therefore the concept of a multilayer system with different functions within is here declined in a different way: the system is not growing in height, though being composed by layers; it is spread over a wide surface in order to put the highest number of shops on the same storey.
Integral to the project was a concern to establish social relations within the new district, therefore emphasis was put on conceiving spaces that allowed for interactions among different kinds of users.The average/small scale of the blocks along with the limited height of the interventions helps to create a “familiar” context. In this way, the project becomes a new part of the city which is closer to the historical city centre typology rather than being an anonymous suburban district with out-of-scale buildings.
The blocks are “lifted” from the public space in some points, allowing a constant and complete permeability of the whole system for pedestrians. At the same time the variable disposition of the buildings give birth to courtyards and small squares: these spaces are both public and private, causing the two aspects to be strictly connected and intertwined. Finally, through stairs, elevators and escalators the connection with the shops/services level underneath is guaranteed.
On the top of the buildings there are some volumes sprouting up from the roof: these elements are roof villas which enstablish an unpredictable relation with the garden roof and among different blocks.This presence set up a different typology of housing on top of a consolidate urban type.