The MIND Masterplan designed by Mario Cucinella

Mind will be a contemporary city born on the layer of an ephemeral city such as Expo, whose traces are in fact a part of this new urban sphere. A city resting on a ‘pentagram’, with a new rhythm of light lines and thicker lines representing the axes of its structure.
The project for the masterplan of Mind – Milano Innovation District by MCA – Mario Cucinella Architects (Working Group MCA, Land, Systematica, ARUP), starts from the peculiarities of the site: a strongly infrastructural area connected with the whole of Italy and Europe. The project is based on four main cornerstones connected one to the other: the space for working and generating innovation, the space for living, the space for care and the space for moving. All of them are united by the common ground as one major connecting element at the level of pedestrians and mobility, especially slow mobility.

In terms of layout, the masterplan inherits the main Expo2015 axes, in particular the decumanus and its connection to the west with the city of Rho and to the east, at the intersection with the Cardo, with Cascina Merlata and with the city of Milan. Around the decumanus develops the density of the built-up area, whose rigidity is constantly interrupted by the random element, represented by the set of green and blue infrastructures.

On a programmatic level, the system of large public anchors, including the Galeazzi hospital, the Tecnopolo, the new University of Milan and the Fondazione Triulza, is surrounded by a functional mix with a prevalence of office and light-industry spaces, so as to accommodate Federated Innovation. In addition to these, there is a significant component of Built-to-Rent residential, student halls of residence and residential spaces for the elderly.
The massing of work and light-industry spaces is compact and flexible, while that dedicated to living spaces is tall and slender. Both are connected by what is known as a vertical common ground, i.e. a height separation that joins the roofs and terraces of the work spaces with the common living spaces.
The district is entirely car-free, so the common ground holds everything together as one big design unicum. A new paradigm of urban space that gives precedence to pedestrians, bicycles and slow mobility and constantly seeks to break the boundary between indoor and outdoor spaces.

Not only the city of 15 minutes but the city of the first 10 metres in height that constitutes the true heart of Mind. Halls, laboratories, restaurants, bars, meeting rooms, squares, transparencies, informal meeting places, trees, parks, sports spaces, and buildings for research and innovation find here the idea of the contemporary city: an urban ecosystem.
Mind will be a pedestrian city, criss-crossed by parks and gardens, with a blue water belt that unites rather than divides the neighbouring city. Mind is not an island in the city but the beginning of a new city, a new opportunity for the modern city.
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