In the outskirts of Milan, in a peaceful natural setting, there is an international center of excellence in the training of healthcare professionals. It's the new Campus Humanitas University, affiliated with the international department of Medicine and Surgery, Nursing and Physiotherapy at the Humanitas Research Hospital, designed by the architect Filippo Taidelli of the studio FTA.
The campus is organized in three new buildings, covering an area of about 25,000 sqm. It has been designed to welcome 1200 students from 31 countries, as well as faculty and researchers. The services include a Simulation Lab of 2000 sqm, one of the largest and most advanced in Europe, as well as high-tech lecture halls, a digital library and residential facilities. The complex is close to the research laboratories and the hospital, as an integral part of the campus, offering a context of training for future physicians, nurses and physiotherapists.
The potential of sharing has dictated the design choices for the campus, developed in terms of architecture and furnishings to create opportunities for interaction between people with different areas of expertise. In keeping with this approach, Nobel laureates, prominent scientists, teachers, researchers, visitors and young students can eat in the same dining hall, work in teams, enjoy a coffee, study in the library or spend time in a range of different informal zones, exchanging thoughts and experiences.
The architecture is simple and essential, to boost the functional quality of spaces and to erase the boundaries between facilities for education, research and the multifunctional hub: these are positioned in a sort of “triangle of knowledge” that starts from the clinical aspect and concludes, across the teaching areas, in the laboratory, the foundation of the mission of Humanitas.
The project is organized in three volumes: the multifunctional building with the dining hall, the library and community functions; the education campus with lecture halls, offices and the Simulation Center; the research labs, arranged around an open plaza with an internal green courtyard. The core of the main building is a large patio, sheltered by a sunscreen structure that allows natural light and ventilation to pass through. The courtyard, like a kaleidoscope, amplifies the dynamism of the activities facing it, visually connecting them through large windows that open onto the surrounding green space.
The campus is placed in a barycentric position with respect to the overall master plan, permitting great flexibility for future expansions and providing an immediate physical and visual connection to the existing hospital.
The project calls for larger green spaces, through an expansion of the park between the new buildings, with an accent on the use of indigenous species and the ability to host spontaneous growth, conceived as a connective tissue to harmoniously link the campus to the rest of the healthcare complex.
The environmental focus of the campus does not only involve the inclusion of nature, but also the 360° implementation of principles of sustainability, through choices that allow significant reduction of energy consumption and a remarkable level of comfort for users.
The orientation of the buildings and their forms, with volumes sloping towards the south, have been formulated to boost the effects of summer sunlight, while reducing heat loss during the winter. The internal glazed courtyards ensure maximum influx of natural light and a sense of indoor-outdoor continuity, while limiting the use of electrical current for lighting to a minimum.
The spaces have been designed in keeping with the most modern standards of technology and environmental comfort. The climate control strategies are assisted by active systems such as groundwater heat pumps and low-temperature radiant heating panels. The installation of photovoltaic panels on the roofs has led to CENED A3 energy certification.
Functional and aesthetic flexibility, essential design and warmth are the principles that have guided the choice of furnishings for the community spaces, where the range of products includes the Catifa 46 seating, the Loop sofas, the Pix ottomans and the Duna 02 chairs.
“The Arper products define the space, without overwhelming it – says the architect Filippo Taidelli of Studio FTA. – The ones we have chosen have certain affinities with the concept of the space in which they are inserted, facilitating its function. In waiting rooms and communal areas, the furnishings encourage dialogue and sharing, thanks to their informal, convivial style. In our experience with projects, we have learned that moments of informal interchange are the most productive and the most educational situations. In those moments ideas are free to flow, tensions of rank are dispelled, relationships become more flexible, to cross paths.
For the Humanitas project, humanity and empathy are fundamental skills to be developed in the phase of professional training. For these spaces, then, we have selected furnishings that foster interpersonal dynamics, stimulating natural gestures and removing barriers, while at the same time enhancing the elegance and essential order of the architectural design.”
Architect: FTA Architects
Photo: Andrea Martiradonna
Arper products: Catifa 46, Duna 02, Loop, Pix