kengo kuma design for SUPSI, mendrisio, switzerland
kengo kuma design for SUPSI, mendrisio, switzerland kengo kuma design for SUPSI, mendrisio, switzerland
mar 08, 2013

kengo kuma design for SUPSI, mendrisio, switzerland

‘scuola universitaria professionale della svizzera italiana’ by kengo kuma and associates, mendrisio, switzerland image © kengo kuma and associates



kengo kuma‘s design for a two-phase addition of  a mendrisio-based campus to ‘la scuola universitaria professionale della svizzera italiana (SUPSI)’, an institute of higher education for applied sciences in the italian-speaking region of switzerland, has been unveiled. in collaboration with local architects studio d`architettura martino pedrozzi, the proposal seeks to link parts of the city divided by an expansive railway system by overturning the track as a constraint on the architecture. a ‘skywalk’ and large underpass renew the entire circulation of the existing buildings while connecting the university to the city. by keeping access and movement central to the creation of the architecture, the structure becomes a balance of infrastructure and artificial landscape while forging a new typology of an urban building for the region. the campus will act as a catalyst for future urban development by freeing the north side of the site for future projects. formally, the design has the hallmarks of a ramp, sloped in two directions and punctured with subtle gestures of vertical circulation. the building is made up of narrow nodes that extend over the entire extent of the site, while the footprint of the building connects these areas of program with a sequence of open, public spaces. the main green-covered promenade creates new standards for sustainable practice, while a block-long green wall reinvents the possibilities of urban shade screen. the building envelope is comprised of thin slabs of stone alternating with aluminum panels– its pattern determined by optimal daylight orientation. the technology of the building provides a very high level of thermal insulation, with large windows that provide natural light to the interiors and solar gain during the winter season. a wealth of outdoor spaces is bolstered by a smattering of ample terraces and shelters positioned in the cool shade of the structure. these open, circulation-filled plazas also accommodate the university’s extensive public programming which include an on-campus kindergarten. this mixed demographic carries into the main space; on the ground floor, there are classrooms dedicated to continuing education as well as the main cafeteria, where the large and bright triple height volume looks on to the outdoor covered area in front of the laboratories. The latter glazed space can be completely opened in good weather and animated by the presence of students and professors using the open-air seating.



the sloping roof form also creates an exterior inhabitable landscapeimage © kengo kuma and associates

long continuous sight line through the sloping structureimage © kengo kuma and associates

image © kengo kuma and associates

study modelsimage © kengo kuma and associates

interior view of the lobbyimage © kengo kuma and associates

ramps and stairs create many half levels that visually communicate with one anotherimage © kengo kuma and associates

integration with exterior green spaceimage © kengo kuma and associates

the campus would integrate an overpass bridge into it’s designimage © kengo kuma and associates


the proposed building in context image © kengo kuma and associates



modelimage © kengo kuma and associates

image © kengo kuma and associates

image © kengo kuma and associates

elevationimage © kengo kuma and associates

section modelimage © kengo kuma and associates

roof plan viewimage © kengo kuma and associates


site plan image © kengo kuma and associates

site plan / level -1

floor plan  / level 0

floor plan / +3m

floor plan / +6m

floor plan / +10m

floor plan / +13.5m









(left) circulation linkage to city transport(right) pedestrian access



(left) vehicular circulation(right) bicycle circulation



(left) program axonometric(right) high public concentration areas



(left) vertical circulation points(right) rooftop promenade



project info:



status: competition finalistprincipal: kengo kumapartner: yuki ikeguchi,design team: marcin sapeta, nayoung kim, anteo taro sanada, kiyoaki takeda, flavia gabriela barrera quintana , miguel bispo, bruno marques, laura myllyluoma, hannah taylor, adeline de vrij, sam yul huh, ania popieralska, local architect: studio d`architettura martino pedrozzi, mendrisio,team: martino pedrozzi, andrea nardi, 3d team: mir, chihiro isono, junki wakuda, hiroaki saito (kkaa),civil engineer: furst laffranchi bauingenieure gmbh, wolfwil.structural engineer: weinmann-energies sa, echallens,electrical engineer: mab-ingenierie sa, morges

  • Kuma guys nail it with this one!

    Just outstanding work, the drawings and model already tell alot about the useability

    blau says:
  • In real life there will never be as many people hanging out on that stair as shown in these renderings, unless they are giving out free beer at the top.

    JJ says:
  • I think this is pretty clean.

    justin says:
  • Perfect!!

    ARCHIT3CTUM says:
  • Awesome and mature proposal!!!!
    Great integration with the city and beautiful solution for connection between two city areas,
    I love clear scheme and approach so understandable from the first second,
    Is Kuma a winner????

    Adrien says:
  • he will win 2013 pritzker prize….

    ray says:
  • Well done! Great drawings

    ualb says:
  • Pero bueno ahora que he vuelto de la suiza italiana estudiando en la SUPSI y se ponen a hacer esto, UNa vergüenza jaja. Pero bonito proyecto un saludo a todos. Un besete ángel

    Ángel Martín says:
  • A cute idea, but that stepped terrace is really a a terrible public space. It is simply a dead end with a bunch stairs. and way to big for the scale of the building. Otherwise an interesting proposal, albeit uneven.

    jumt says:
  • the scale fits mendrisio?

    henk says:
  • +1 for beer at the top.

    André says:
  • nice one!
    i would have done the ramp at the other side of the railroad to the other side and bigger!
    sweet terrace to smoke a joint and relax…

    einslachen says:

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