The Youth Village Farm LAB and Milan Expo Horizontal Farm Competition by DDS & Partners

The Youth Village Farm LAB/Milan Expo Horizontal Farm Competition
The Youth Village Farm LAB/Milan Expo Horizontal Farm Competition
Image © DDS& partners

Concept
The architectural concept is based on the contemporary reinterpretation of the traditional Italian farm “cascina” and comes to be anchored in the urban context of the 2015 Milan Universal Exposition, as the old farms where in the economic activity of the city. While reminding the iconic farm symbol to the collective memory, the project has the ambition to enhance a spirit of innovation, based on a sustainable agricultural approach, economic efficiency and social local vitality, all in the respect of the environment.

The Youth Village Farm LAB/Milan Expo Horizontal Farm Competition
Image © DDS& partners

The Village + Farm Lab answers this question: how to live, produce, store, and sell in the same place, regarding the vital needs for its functions, while interacting harmoniously with its urban context?
Village + Farm Lab offers an unseen integration of functions and spatial experiences. Inhabited relaxing areas are contrasted by efficient, transparent and social spaces of production, exhibition and teaching. A new urban combination where new ideas and a concept for a healthy life style could flow freely between farmers and the young generations as an invitation for a respected environment.

The Youth Village Farm LAB/Milan Expo Horizontal Farm Competition
Image © DDS& partners

Village
Village + Farm Lab takes the best elements from the village traditional structure, as an outset to create a modern campus experience that enhances knowledge sharing, production and creativity. The Youth village relates to the concept of gathering small residential units together with, meeting places as center of social interaction, all surrounded by nature. We propose to translate these qualities into a contemporary architectural concept. The Youth Village enjoys functional and recreational areas, located at the heart of the project, while providing a certain degree of intimacy.

The Youth Village Farm LAB/Milan Expo Horizontal Farm Competition
Diagram Volume Concept

For the most part, the student’s spaces are the only elements in the project which can be completely partitioned and heated. On the contrary, the market place reinforces the idea of emblematic “piazza”: an open-space only covered by mezzanines. The market place is at the same time a busy area and a verdant space, where people can buy, sell, relax or just walk along. Village + Farm Lab proposes several others dynamic meeting places on different levels, adding the third dimension to the classical piazza, to create a new concept of urban village.

The Youth Village Farm LAB/Milan Expo Horizontal Farm Competition
Diagram Program Concept

Farm Lab
Besides production of rice and cereals, the Region of Milan is also known to produce vegetable and fruits. Modern agriculture and research require space for testing and production. With our proposal the raw character of the Farm is imbedded into a creative lab for agriculture experiments and effective food production in which the public is invited to participate. The food production will be distributed on the various terraces dedicated to urban agriculture, scattered throughout the building. Special attention is paid to offering a maximum of natural light to each terrace.

The Youth Village Farm LAB/Milan Expo Horizontal Farm Competition
Diagram

Furthermore, large openings in the building have been created on the Eastern and Southern parts. Plants requiring more light like tomatoes will be located on the higher levels. Whenever necessary, additional LED lights can be placed on the lower levels. However, solar protection made of translucent removable clothes is integrated in the roof structure to handle the harmful summer radiations. We also considered setting up a general glass roof to be able to grow crops even during wintertime, but it was discarded as it would have a strong counter effect on the food production in the summer time.

The Youth Village Farm LAB/Milan Expo Horizontal Farm Competition
Diagram

Along with the food production, our Farm Lab offers other added sustainable values at social, ecological and economic levels. The surface dedicated to the agricultural production (around 4.400 m2) is large enough to insure the economic viability of a farmer. He will be helped by seasonal workers. The farmer will be scientifically and technically framed by the agricultural and food sciences Faculty of the University of Milan. The horizontal farm is divided into different levels, supporting the natural light needs of the various cultures. Specials labs for technical cultures take place into green houses and dedicated laboratories, for an experimental and didactic approach and to analyse food quality.

The Youth Village Farm LAB/Milan Expo Horizontal Farm Competition
Diagram

Finally, the non-covered rooftop will ensure the production of seasonal commodities and will help the residents and the visitors to be connected to the nature and its nurturing function, while the rolling fabric screens will help control the harmful excess of direct sunlight. The Labs are thus both productive spaces as well as social spaces of interaction, bridging production and urban life – benefitting both, where work, learning and exhibition coexist.

The Youth Village Farm LAB/Milan Expo Horizontal Farm Competition
Diagram Axonometry

Village + Farm Lab
Combining the two worlds, Village + Farm Lab creates a hybrid space, an integrated productive and welcoming part of the city. Village + Lab allows for a totally inclusive urban experience with a diversity of spatial experiences.It is a place between social uses and economy, where innovations and knowledge coexist in a participative management for a “win-win” exchange between students and farmers, while including citizens in the process. This is why the functions are not separated in layers but are inter-connected, visible by all, adding a dynamic aspect and value to the process. Source by DDS& parteners.

The Youth Village Farm LAB/Milan Expo Horizontal Farm Competition
Section
  • Location: Milan, Italy
  • Architects: DDS& partners
  • Partners-in-charge: Christian Sibilde,Dominique Delbrouck, Olivier Callebaut
  • Collaborators: Olfa Kammoun and Mohamed Bouzrara (MOA architects)
  • Urban agriculture consultancy: Prof. Jijakli Haissam
  • Sustainability &stability Engineers: Klaus Ralph
  • Area: 7000 m2
  • Project status: 1st prize
  • Year: June 2016
  • Images: Courtesy of DDS& partners
The Youth Village Farm LAB/Milan Expo Horizontal Farm Competition
Site Plan
The Youth Village Farm LAB/Milan Expo Horizontal Farm Competition
Level 01 Floor Plan
The Youth Village Farm LAB/Milan Expo Horizontal Farm Competition
Level 02 Floor Plan
The Youth Village Farm LAB/Milan Expo Horizontal Farm Competition
Level 03 Floor Plan
The Youth Village Farm LAB/Milan Expo Horizontal Farm Competition
Level 04 Floor Plan

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