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The area dedicated for the  competition for the expansion of USI (Università della Svizzera Italiana, Lugano) is characterized by the particular definition of its limits. At the south side the rigorously symmetrical construction of the ex-hospital highlights the connection axis towards the city centre; the west side has a road of strong traffic, partly attenuated by the trees of the park and the "U"-shaped building ex-Riziero Rezzonico. The north side, currently occupied by a large parking lot, needs a clearer definition of its condition of limit, closure, so as to orient in a clearer way the new USI campus facing south,, towards the city center; the east side is characterized by the presence of the river Cassarate.
We wanted to develop this articulated condition by relating our project with the other parts of city that develop along the banks of the river itself. The tree-lined avenue along the Cassarate establishes a clear link between the most important public areas currently in development in the city of Lugano, starting from the areas around the river mouth (the park Ciani with high school, the library and the congress hall on the left river bank, the convention area "Campo Marzio South", the public beach and pool "Lido", the sailing club and the harbor on the right bank ): Going up the river Cassarate there is another sequence of relevant public activities (Convention centre "Campo Marzio Nord", ex-Slaughterhouse Area "Macello pubblico", USI) until you reach the sports facilities of the area of Cornaredo and the spaces to be reorganized in the interchange area of the new "Galleria Vedeggio-Cassarate".

The USI campus is defined in our project to the north by a "wall": in fact along Via Madonnetta we have formed a high base one floor high in which most of the car parks are concentrated (ca. 85 cars) and above it we organized the buildings of the faculty of theology and the expansion for other faculties.
Along Viale Cassarate the classroom building defines the perimeter of the campus while strengthening the relationship with the river enhanced by the wide openings resulting near the entrance of the building and in the area of the portico that connects it to the laboratories.
The seven-story tower of laboratories strengthens the corner of the architectural composition and identifies itself as a clear visual reference point for USI.
The transformation of the former Rezzonico building into the library includes the coverage of the entrance court and an underground extension for the main reading room.
The multipurpose hall is a separate object, inserted  inside the park of the ex-Hospital. Building of qualifying attraction within the university plant, it is naturally addressed to the City creating interesting synergies
A series of pedestrian paths, at the level of the park and at the first floor, relates the different buildings, starting from the entrance square of the new library passing through the faculty of theology and the tower of the laboratories until you reach the terrace of the classroom building, open to both the park and the Cassarate river.

Building the perimeter of the land along Via Madonnetta and Viale Cassarate allows to redefine and enhance the green spaces available. It was therefore possible to maintain almost unchanged the park around the ex-hospital and in the spaces adjacent to the new multipurpose hall. The new exterior arrangement includes a series of gardens and rest areas in front of new constructions (Theology, Laboratories, Classrooms), so as to highlight the element of the park and the double tree-lined avenue along the river Cassarate.
The element of the chapel symbolically marks the threshold between the faculty of theology and the natural element of the garden.

The classroom building:
The new building is at the end of the path that starts from the square in front of the new library and aims to create a filter between the river and the interior spaces of the campus.
The classrooms face along the Cassarate, and are characterized by elements arranged obliquely so as to orient themselves towards the open space in the direction of the mouth of the Lake of Lugano. The west facade, in correspondence with the spaces of circulation in front of the classrooms, opens with a large terrace and with a porch towards the parco dell'USI.
The modular organization of the building allows a great flexibility in the division of classrooms.
The poor condition of the underground (civil protection rooms to be demolished) suggests the creation of a basement with technical premises and storage for the USI, not foreseen by the current program.





Lugano -




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