kengo kuma shifts milan's urban design with layers of wood, open spaces, and natural light - Designboom

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The Welcome Project, a biophilic Complex

designboom sat down with Kengo Kuma to speech astir his ongoing enactment for the biophilic, wood-enveloped mixed-use complex ‘Welcome Project’ successful Milan. Reclined successful his integrative chair, the revered designer fluidly moved his hands arsenic helium spoke, oozing excitement astir the realization of the greenish bureau successful an municipality city.

‘The bully happening astir the Welcome Project is it is horizontal,’ he tells designboom. ‘Some projects person a cardinal taxable of sustainability, but the tract is limited, and we request to physique them arsenic vertical buildings. But the Welcome Project is precise horizontal, and it is built connected the hills. From here, radical tin get the cleanable representation of the metropolis of Milan. That is wherefore we person decided to bash that.’ 

The Welcome Project is, successful fact, horizontal, but it besides goes supra and beyond. Layers of wood topping panels of solid windows brushwood against undivided spaces with gangly ceilings. The earthy airy and airflow travel and go, but radical enactment to work, shop, clasp exhibitions, dine, meet, oregon simply laze about. Serenity amazingly permeates the cosmopolitan surroundings, and the usage of wood passim the architecture helps with that.

kengo kuma invited project
images © Kengo Kuma & Associates (unless stated)

Kuma reiterated that the Welcome Project is not small-scale. As designboom reported successful 2021, it boasts astir 50,000 quadrate meters (538,200 quadrate feet) crossed six sites that person been layered, rotated, and interwoven with each other. When asked what the plan challenges the plan squad has faced truthful far, Kuma circled backmost to wood.

‘We tried to usage it arsenic overmuch arsenic we tin successful the full structure,’ he shares with designboom. ‘To usage wood for that benignant of large gathering is not truthful easy. We person precise bully operation engineers and mechanical engineers who are precise supportive, truthful moving with these bully designers and engineers is indispensable to instrumentality our philosophy.’

kengo kuma invited project
courtyard view

Re-introducing wood to the municipality plan of milan

Kengo Kuma puts his religion successful the integrated properties of wood successful architecture. In a metropolis wherever the usage of timber mightiness not beryllium visibly displayed among the alloy and solid skyscrapers, on the marble and chromatic humanities sites, that dot the cityscape, Kuma is re-introducing wood to the municipality plan of Milan.

‘Milan and Japan person a beardown contented of utilizing wood, and they tin enactment unneurotic to retrieve the usage of timber for a large metropolis successful a large task similar this,’ the designer shares with designboom. ‘It is benignant of a caller signifier of utilizing wood, caller signifier meaning for municipality design. People precocious usage wood for tiny buildings, but this building, an municipality design, needs wood. We are facing a gyration of municipality design, and wood tin marque this gyration happen.’

kengo kuma invited project
view from outside

The people-focused and sensorial features of the Welcome Project link the municipality elements of Milan’s Rizzoli country – a fewer stops distant from the metropolis halfway – with the increasing tendency of the metropolis to situation aboriginal architecture with greenery.

Along with timber, the Welcome Project involves 3 selected materials, to make earthy and modern architecture: factual for the foundations and basement, giving mode to alloy and wood supra ground. Solar panels placed connected roofs make renewable vigor for heating and cooling, and cultivated plants outpouring each implicit the place, sneaking up successful the entryway oregon flourishing astir the edges of the buildings.

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