Urban regeneration as a sustainable choice by Piuarch

Piuarch re imagines cities, to be greener and more sustainable, in order to create places that are loved. In fact, the design can no longer ignore a transversal and at the same time unique concept that could meet different urgencies, such as energy savings, livability of spaces, well-being and green areas, urban redevelopment, social inclusion, preservation of the urban and environmental context.

Attention to these aspects is crucial to have an international and contemporary approach in shaping our vision of the city and architecture of the future. Starting from the design concept, architects are called upon to consider the climatic needs of the place and of the territorial context, and yet, also the social and cultural features in which the buildings will rise, precisely to minimise the environmental impact and maximise the exploitation of sustainable resources.

Moreover, the eco-efficiency of the building takes shape also as a function of the different possible uses of the spaces, where different solutions will be obtained depending on how they will be used. We believe it is also important to consider the different facets of the very concept of sustainability. From an energetic point of view, it is important to focus on how energy will be used by the structure and how to conserve it effectively.

This process involves the implementation of excellent insulation and the use of shading systems that exploit the natural course of light. Sustainable buildings should rely on solar energy or other alternative sources combined with renewable ones. But there are multiple meanings of this word. The new challenge for future architects will in fact be to re-imagine cities, with a view to sustainability from an energetic, but also social, landscape and innovative point of view.

In addition to the traditional design of buildings, our studio has carried out several projects that respond to these new needs. The result is urban redevelopment actions such as the Rooftop Garden on our roof of Brera, or the espaço installation in Sao Paolo, Brazil, aimed at restoring a degraded urban area of a city favela to its local community, ensuring the empowerment of children and involving them in play-training activities.

And again, a concept that will be presented during the Chicago Biennial Architecture 2019: Synergy Gardens. A network of urban gardens on the roofs of schools in a peripheral area of the city subjected to the so-called Food Desert: an area with low-income residents, which has limited access to nutritious food. All these activities multiply the importance of the sustainable discourse which is further enriched with meanings.

Alongside social and civic sustainability, which is also aimed at responding to the imminent world population growth (65% more is expected by 2050), there is the landscaping matter, which has always played a central role in our planning. As architects we believe it is necessary to be deeply in tune with the reality in which we live to face the changes we are subjected to.

All the buildings we work on integrate seamlessly into the landscape, taking advantage of its construction, materials and aesthetics, becoming an offshoot instead of a graft. In this sense, the recovery of the old Caproni factory in via Mecenate in Milan is exemplary, which has now become the Gucci Hub, awarded for the extraordinary nature and cohesion of the restoration and refurbishment of the structures in the Refurbishment in Architecture Award 2019.

In fact, in addition to the aesthetic and technical requirements of energy saving, for clients commissioning a building, also the sustainable use of the space is very important. In the case of a headquarters, for example, large bright offices are required, green relaxation areas, both outdoors and indoors. These features are fundamental to guarantee fully livable spaces intended for employees, which also positively affect their work performance. Source and photos Courtesy of Piuarch.

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