EFA studio di architettura

at the Politecnico di Milano

Universities and cities

Federico Bucci, Emilio Faroldi
Silvana Publishing
Cinisello Balsamo 2021


The city and the university have changed profoundly: the progressive physical-material development of anthropised contexts has gradually reached and definitively incorporated the oldest university sites, originally built outside the urban margins. The city, in its current phase of economic development, requires the physical and cultural impact of the places of metabolisation and transmission of knowledge as a driving force for innovation and the revitalisation of the economic-entrepreneurial fabric, based on the sphere connected to the world of culture. The.university represents the institution dedicated to the training and education of a society in its highest and noblest form: likewise, the relationship between the university and the urban context has continually characterised the debate on the management and development policies of the city since its establishment. University architecture identifies its reason in the spaces modelled by the needs of those who live and grow in the fields of knowledge and education: places of avant-garde and experimentation that have historically had the ability to translate the demands of the cultural growth of a civilisation into the physicality of space, modelling the academic context and defining an original reality with a peculiar identity, punctuated by paradigmatic and representative works of its era. In recent years, the Politecnico di Milano has focused its attention on the themes of enhancement, morphological and functional adaptation, and modernisation of the architectural heritage of the sites where the university is located and rooted. This has led the university to reflect substantially on its spaces and their transformation, exploring and promoting strategies and projects that place students, lecturers, polytechnic staff and citizens at the centre of the system, together with the integration of university spaces with the city and with the paradigms of environmental sustainability and new ways of living and delivering education. The cultural review of the polytechnic spaces, which has been carried out over the last six years, is based on this scenario, with the primary objective of better configuring the theatre in which the education of our future is staged every day: a theatre/campus called the city.