carlo ratti designs a 15-meter-high vertical plaza inside milan's MEET digital arts center

carlo ratti designs a 15-meter-high vertical plaza inside milan's MEET digital arts center

carlo ratti associati and italo rota have unveiled the design of a new center for digital culture and creative technology in milan. dubbed MEET, the center is situated in a recently renovated historic palazzo built in the early 20th century and features a 15-meter-high vertical plaza with a habitable staircase at its core that aims to sparkle unexpected connections between people — the ones that we’re missing due to the current social distancing measures.

carlo ratti designs a 15-meter-high vertical plaza inside milan's MEET digital arts center
images by michele nastasi

 

 

opening to the public on october 31st, 2020, MEET by carlo ratti associati and italo rota investigates how physical space can foster serendipity. consequently, the bright orange steel staircase, which zigzags throughout the vertical plaza, can turn from theater to workspace to meeting area while serving as the focal point of the building. this idea of hybrid functional spaces is spread throughout the building, starting with the staircase, all the way to the multiple rooms, all of which can be used for exhibitions, talks, performances, and other activities.

carlo ratti designs a 15-meter-high vertical plaza inside milan's MEET digital arts center

 

 

technology has been embedded throughout the space, with projections scattered across the building, allowing visitors to access MEET’s digital archive smoothly, without being invasive but naturally occupying the spaces. following mark weiser’s arguments, the team has inserted technology in such way that it ‘recedes into the background of our lives.’  the project therefore transforms architecture itself into a medium to share knowledge and culture.

carlo ratti designs a 15-meter-high vertical plaza inside milan's MEET digital arts center

 

 

‘what is the role of physical space in a digital world? today, we continue to live and work in pandemic-induced isolation where almost anything can be done online. at this time, it is vital to use architecture to produce serendipitous moments and help foster new connections – precisely those that rarely happen on the web,’ commentss carlo ratti, founding partner of CRA and professor of the practice of urban technology at the MIT. ‘one way to achieve this objective is to overcome any strict division of spatial functions. when every place can serve multiple purposes, it brings together multiple communities, facilitating the generation and circulation of new ideas.’

carlo ratti designs a 15-meter-high vertical plaza inside milan's MEET digital arts center

carlo ratti designs a 15-meter-high vertical plaza inside milan's MEET digital arts center

carlo-ratti-MEET-digital-arts-center-milan-designboom-006

carlo ratti designs a 15-meter-high vertical plaza inside milan's MEET digital arts center

 

 

project info:

 

name: MEET digital arts center
design: CRA carlo ratti associati 

location: milan, italy
creative consultancy: italo rota, francesca grassi
CRA 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
preliminary setting of MEP and environmental strategy: ai studio
execution: studio del giacco
structural design: ingembp
lighting design: artemide
acoustic consultancy: onleco 
audio-video technologies: audviser

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