Innesto – The Fragmented City
“In botany, the graft consists in inserting into a plant (called rootstock) a part of another plant (called graft) of different species or variety, in order to obtain a new individual; it is usually done to obtain finer quality fruits”
X-hub is a multi-purpose center developed in a lot of northern Milan near the exit of the Pagano metro station. The project started with a historical-morphological analysis of the entire city and then focused on the project area.
The city of Milan has been analyzed according to the graft paradigm. In fact, by observing its composition and stratification, it can be seen that some fabrics are cut and fragmented by oversized elements that follow different logics, such as the railway system but also public buildings such as the court, the hospital and the barracks.
In particular, we focused on the railway belt, a set of grafts that fragment the nineteenth-century rigid fabric. The project area is located on the former Sempione station, abandoned in 1931. This left a still perceptible wound, occupied today by a park, with modern buildings that surround it. We noticed that Arco della Pace, the residences of Bottoni and the Rustici palace creates a triangle with the lot which becomes the pivot of a wider system.
X – hub
The building is set in the triangular lot in two ways: on one hand by reconstructing the morphology through the positioning of a volume that follows the building curtains, on the other by inserting a second volume that instead crosses the road, positioning itself perpendicularly. The lot becomes a square closed inwards but it is reconnected to the park through the second volume. The two bodies are of equal size and overlap each other creating an X.
The base acts as a curtain, placing itself in a monumental way and following the layout of the road. The second one cuts the road hooking on to the other side. It is conceived as a bridge structure that stands on two supports. Moreover, the complex continues underground, where we find a third body parallel to the bridge and which also allows the passage from one side to the other.
The complex is composed of three bodies plus two supports on the ground floor and a square made by a blunt terrain, with a descent that leads to the -1 floor. All the volumes are designed internally according to a modular grid of 2.5 x 2.5 m which is also repeated in the elevations and sections. The body on the ground floor is designed as a succession of open spaces to which different functions correspond (auditorium, reception, restaurant). It has several slit openings, depending on the needs. The roof is stratified starting from opaque and semi-opaque panels, surmounted by a grid with rails to which the walls are attached. In this way, the interior has a diffused light and is particularly ductile. The upper volume, dedicated to exhibitions, is instead semitransparent and regulated by the scanning of panels on rails. The underground volume is divided into compartments and contains the warehouses and the library accessible directly from the square by a staircase. The interiors are all designed as narrow and long open spaces with few closed spaces and walls that divide the various functions, trying to maintain consistency and continuity.
Diagram of the building
Elevation, view of the upper volume with the surrounding buildings
Transversal perspective section, interior view of the building with 3 levels: the exhibition area, the square, and the underground library
The landing (external view)
The apparition (internal view)