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Campus Bocconi

The new campus at the Università Bocconi is a project by the Japanese firm Sanaa (Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa) that found themselves working between the original complex of the Università Bocconi, dating from the 1930s by Giuseppe Pagano and Gian Giacomo Pedraval on via Sarfatti and the busy ring road of viale Toscana. 

The school wanted to create a new area of buildings that could host a halls of residence over nine floors, the SDA School of Management's offices and some communal areas for university life, while also being open to the city: an intervention designed to regenerate the area of the former Milk Plant, returning it to the city's inhabitants. In order to recreate this connection, the call for tenders also involved a sports complex with a 50-metre pool accessible to everyone.

The topic of de-materialisation is at the heart in this project, something very dear to the Sanaa firm: the 84,000 square metre complex, developed across different buildings appears to float on the lawn and opens itself up to passers-by thanks to the glass walls that allow for the sequence of rooms on the ground floor and cavity of the conference rooms on the basement to be visible from the outside. The spatial distribution fully serves the area and sees the positioning of the SDA headquarters on via Sarfatti in continuity with the old campus, the halls of residence in an intermediate position with regard to the plot of land, in a quiet point far from the road, and lastly the sports centre on the ring road, easily accessible to the city's residents. Furthermore, considerable focus has been placed on natural ventilation in these buildings to significantly reduce the use of artificial lighting and ventilation. The outside walls are 50% opaque and 50% transparent to provide excellent insulation. Other strategies to keep down consumption are linked to the use of a geometrical plant for cooling and heating, rainwater recycling systems and solar panels installed on the roof of the sports centre.

The fully-LED iGuzzini luminaires are part of an aim to save energy, but they have been especially chosen to fit in and play with the lightness and transparency of the surroundings. In the interconnecting Master, Executive, Office building complex (MEO) there is a cloud-like structure on the roof and on this structure that can be found along the pathways, in the literary bar and inside the rooms, fixed Reflex recess lights with Wide Flood optics for diffused lighting, are mounted. This structure is overlooked by a double height, as well as the 300-seat room in the building indicated as POD, connected to the Executive via a short corridor. Other corridors, key elements for the movement of students between the buildings that make up the Campus, are lit by a combination of the light - including artificial - penetrating the glass walls and the light given off by the flood optics and wide flood of the wall-mounted Tecnica spotlights with header. Down the stairs that lead to the basements of the MEO, the Bos ceiling lights make their mark by creating a pleasant contrast between their opalescent aspect and the reinforced concrete on which they are mounted. 

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  • Year
  • Client
    SDA Bocconi School of Management
  • Architectural project:
    Architect SANAA / Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa
    Design Team:
    Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa, Principals
    Yoshitaka Tanase, Partner
    Francesca Singer, Project Architect
    Nicolò Bertino, Project Architect
  • Final design:
    Progetto CMR
  • Plant design:
    Advance Engineering- Alberto Cariboni
  • Coordination:
    Bocconi Technical Office - Nicolò Di Blasi
  • Photographer
    Paolo Carlini