Milan: The New Energetic Landscape

year: 2019
program: T R O P I C A N A, installation for Repubblica del Design, Milano Design Week, Fuorisalone 2019 (curator: Davide Crippa)
team: caarpa with Manuel Gelsomino
photos: Gruppo Torto


Architecture Tableful made by false mirror office, Ghigos Ideas, Gruppo Torto, UNO8A + caarpa, WAR

In 1972 in the MOMA, New York, the exhibition “Italy: the new domestic landscape” staged the work of the radical Italian avant-garde. Young designers such as Archizoom and Superstudio defined those years’ architecturally with new “visions”, imagining utopic scenarios in a close relation with technology. Almost half a century later we find ourselves living in a different world when compared to the one imagined by the radical utopias whereby a “handy” technology made the city “smart”, but without twisting its physiognomy.
In a context where the concepts of “energy production” and “energy consumption” are fundamental factors for the present and future development, thinking how those actors can change the existing city is a dutiful act. For this reason, five young architecture offices confront each other by working on five different kinds of energy in order to revolutionize with creative force the Milano Bovisa area.

false mirror office, Ghigos, Gruppo Torto, UNO8A + caarpa e WAR propose themselves as a new generation of designers that ironically talk together about the future of the city in a “new energetic landscape”. Gruppo Torto uses the possibilities of the “potential energy” to make in the gasometer area structures from which to slide or jump; False Mirror imagines totem of tribal energy able to involve the community in new primordial events. Ghigos uses the biomass energy as a way to integrate/overlap the agricultural world and the city in an urban “back to the future”; W.A.R. transforms the angel’s cemetery by John Hejduk in a kinetic energy accumulator; UNO8A + caarpa uses the heat generated by digital infrastructure as a way to make a new urban ecosystem. Everything is told through a small domestic interior made by a table sheet, plats, ancient mirrors and puddings, towards an “architecture tableful” with the irreverent radical flavour.


T R O P I C A N A 

No form of energy is destroyed, at most it is dispersed.
Energy – of a thermal nature – dissipated to guarantee the functioning of our cities is a waste of production cycles that, only rarely, is reused for public use. The spread of data centers, i.e. the large digital infrastructures that host servers and information systems support equipment, has increased the production of large amounts of heat that is generally released into the environment to ensure the cooling of the structure. The proposal uses this thermal energy to heat large quantities of water and change the spatiality of the Bovisa district through the creation of a new urban ecosystem, a lake with a tropical character.
The data center is contained in a new architecture withan iconic image that is also the fount of the lake. From the inside of this architecture, the water gushes out at high temperatures (about 55° – 60° C) to then cool down as it makes its way towards the south-east where it is collected and put back into circulation by plants contained in a pre-existent shed. The difference in water heat generates heterogeneous scenarios: around the data center a landscape of rocks surrounds pools of water and geysers that flow out from the ground while, at the opposite end, deciduous shrubs connect the new system with the indigenous vegetation. In the central part of the lake the average temperature (about 25° – 30° C) offers the possibility of cultivating a tropical landscape that radically changes the image of the industrial district. In this portion, the lake becomes a natural public oasis where recreational activities related to sport and leisure are carried out.