The architectural seed
Architecture, whether we are aware of it or not, is part of our life. As a matter of fact, our personal story is bound to the places where we were born and raised, to the buildings in which we’ve studied, lived and experienced for the first time feelings such as joy, love, and even aesthetic pleasure. Yes, because the aim of the architecture around us is not just to answer a need that we might call functional, and met when at a formal level a building complies with the material requirements for. The houses, the buildings, the skyscrapers in which we live, work, live and move around, they should also give us certain feelings and emotions, telling us a story through their shapes.
Let’s take, for example, that of the Unicredit Pavilion in Milan, the multifaceted meeting space in Gae Aulenti Square, alongside the high tower of the bank, is a story that starts from a seed. This natural shape has actually inspired the building. Michele De Lucchi, the architect who designed it, said: “The architect is a farmer and I have planted a seed for Milan,” meaning that his work recalls the plant element from two perspectives: shape and function. That is, to offset public participation through a structure capable of transforming and adapting to the most diverse needs, both internal and external, such as business meetings, conventions, concerts, exhibitions, public events, bridging at the same time the Aulenti Square with the surrounding skyscrapers and the nearly finished park.
In fact, transforming such an ambitious design idea has required the use of innovative and sustainable building techniques and materials such as zintek® zinc-titanium rolled sheet metal, chosen for the covers and outer coating of the lateral doors. The high malleability of the rolled sheet metal actually got us to create a cover that follows the structure’s shape, creating a unique “skin” that emphasises the naturalistic inspiration.
Therefore, the Pavilion represents a twofold overcome challenge: to make shape communicate with matter by means of state-of-the-art materials, and to create an emotional space capable of breaking through the heart of an entire city.
“The seeds have a coating layer which covers them and protects a vital and fertile heart. It contains the essence of life and the magic of those materials which are transformed and regenerate that from which they were generated.” M. De Lucchi