c02 - aion, lugano, switzerland, 2010-2011
The building occupies the limit of the building area along the river Cassarate and it develops into two wings of two storeys and three storeys respectively.
It is set on a base 55 cm high with respect to the level of neighbouring streets and it defines two public courtyards, different in size and character: the smaller one is characterized by an acer rubrum, while the wider one is a garden of cornus floribunda.
The low complex enables the silhouette of the ever present Monte Brè to be seen from the interior space of the courtyards.
Two towers act as landmarks in the area and function as entrances to both building and courtyards.
The university complex is arranged in the manner of a miniature city.
The entrances are preludes to the galleries, interior promenades which give access to classrooms, laboratories, offices and public areas such as cafés and restaurants.
The galleries of the minor courtyard are 3 meters wide, corresponding pragmatically to the lively behaviour of walking from the classroom to the laboratory and on to another classroom; the galleries of the major courtyard are wider, 5,80 meters, interpreting the circulation space as an informal "salotto".
The galleries are organized along the perimeter of the building and they offer a view to its quiet and modest surroundings, to the river and to the mountains.
The structure is simple: a “conventional syntax” of thin concrete elements.
Prefabricated concrete pillars, cast in situ slabs and vertical cast in situ cores offer a conventional abacus, which is arranged following a pragmatic and economical logic: minimal structural spans among the pillars translate the punctual support of the slabs into a linear one; vertical alignment of the pillars allows an efficient load transmission to the foundations; concrete slabs are implemented with all technical installations.
The concrete skeleton is reduced to the minimum size that stability permits.
The facades are then a score of prefabricated concrete lesene, narrow low reliefs whose lone standing disposition makes the experience of structure and ornament ambiguous