University Campus SUPSI
Location: Mendrisio, Switzerland
Client: SUPSI. Scuola Universitaria Professionale della Svizzera Italiana
Total Area: Undisclosed
AZPA Team: Alejandro Zaera-Polo, Maider Llaguno-Munitxa, Ravi Lopes Calamita, Pep Wennberg, Robert Berenguer
Local Partner: Dario Francini
The University is a continuum with the City
The new complex will need to act as a new urban enclave on the other side of the tracks, able to act as an urban centre on the North side of the tracks, from which the energy will radiate towards the former industrial areas, in the transformation to a more urban environment. Our proposal aims to consolidate the future complex as an oasis of urbanity, open to the public beyond its mere educational purpose. The future complex to operate as a piece of urban fabric.
The scale of the complex is large, and that provides an opportunity to use the building to provide a public space that may be not only the centre of the School, but also a very high quality urban space that will be used by students and citizens alike. Rather than making a large building with an internal space designed only for the students, our proposal is to break the scale of the building into a series of buildings surrounding an open public space, like a mini-campus. In doing this, we are enabling the continuity between the city and the school, rather than constructing the school as an entity independent to the city. The University should become an open forum for the exchange of knowledge, not necessarily limited to the academics, but open to the citizens, for knowledge to become a more integral part of society.