The project stems from the combination of two single domes of equal diameter, but different heights. The two domes together create a flexible and well-structured space that could be further subdivided in order to fit different needs of the internal spaces. The double dome consists of an “origami” of structural glulam elements, joined by steel plates. The dome is conceived as a variation of the vast surrounding public space: for this reason, the structures present clear permeability and full congruence with the setting.
The open nature of the structure is materialized in a reduced use of mechanical systems, in favor of natural lighting and natural ventilation. The structure is composed of a big three-dimensional grid that gradually transforms in woven branches, as it grows to the open top of the dome. The structural elements become architectural ones, designing both the internal and the external facades as tree branches; the empty spots of the grid enhance air and light permeability, together with visual continuity between outside and inside.
The double dome is a prefabricated structure, made of spruce glulam with zinc-coated steel joints. An internal PVC sheet, suspended from the vertexes of the structure, covering the openings and avoiding water penetration, provides water resistance. The PVC seam follows the structural grid. White translucent pressurized PVC cushions cover the internal space in correspondence of the central oculus: those cushions are not linked to the internal PVC sheet, guaranteeing natural ventilation through stack effect.
Natural ventilation is indeed essential: in addition to the upper openings, all the perimeter of the dome is covered with a net fabric, whose zigzag pattern follows the structural grid and ensures ventilation. The dome appears as a lighting element of the public square: the structure not only includes a self-lighting system, but also provides lighting for the surroundings: it sparkles like a glowing lantern and the light reflects on the Lake Arena water surface, amplifying the splendor of the area. The spectacular translucent lamps, also shaped as a dome, are suspended from the PVC sheet tie-beams and dangle from the structure to light up all the elements of the internal set-up.
According to the exhibitors’ needs, the dome has two entrances, in order to optimize the visitors’ flows coming from Palazzo Italia, from the Cardo and from the shows around the Albero della Vita. The internal layout is organized in areas. The small dome will host 15 huge triangular counters, recreating the typical Italian market atmosphere. Each counter will host, rotating every week, unique and natural products, narrated by their farmers. Under the bigger dome, a cylinder will house a small cooking demonstration room, a multi-sensorial exhibit and two spaces dedicated to biological pizza and ice-cream tasting. Source by Miralles Tagliabue EMBT.
Location: Milan, Italy
Architects: Miralles Tagliabue EMBT
Architect In Charge: Benedetta Tagliabue
Project Director: Makoto Fukuda
Project Coordinator: Valentina Nicol Noris
Technical and Scientific Support: Matteo Ruta, Emilio Pizzi – Politecnico di Milano, ABC Department, Milano. Collaborators: Alessio Costantino Mirabella, Elena Seghezzi, Ivana Congiu
Structural Design: Francesco Iorio – SIO Studio Iorio, Bergamo
Fire Engineering: Giuseppe Amaro – GAE Engineering, Torino
Digital Design And Fabrication Consultancy: Pierpaolo Ruttico – INDEXLAB, Milano with Carlo Beltracchi
Main Contractor / Wood Structure: Foresti Distribuzione Laterizi, Pralboino (BS)
Pvc Textile: Canobbio Textile Engineering, Castelnuovo Scrivia (Al)
Lighting: Via Bizzuno
Area: 560.0 sqm
Images: Miralles Tagliabue EMBT