In a period of rapid urbanization and population growth, buildings play an increasingly critical role in sustaining the health of people and the planet. In light of this, much emphasis has been placed on the design of smarter and more energy-efficient buildings. Yet, new and renovated structures represents just 4% of building stock in the western world, leaving the vast majority of buildings untouched and under-performing.
The SBINBEN project explores how these existing buildings might be adapted to new economic and environmental circumstances. Specifically, the project aims to develop a versatile facade system capable of increasing the life-span and performance of existing multi-story buildings. Drawing inspiration from organic membranes and smart-textiles, the system is envisioned as a soft, kinetic skin that rejuvenates ageing structures.
Though the design problem is universal in nature, a specific building in the Porta Nuova district of Milan has been selected to test the viability of ideas on the basis of aesthetic, economic, and engineering criteria. The team will work closely with manufacturers and developers to develop a performative design that is both innovative and attainable.
The project is divided into three cumulating channels of activity: (1) collect, (2) design, and (3) share. The first channel involves analysis of state-of-the-art facade systems, research on organic and engineered skins, and mapping of relevant urban and environmental data. The second channel involves idea generation, physical prototyping, evaluation, and iterative design. The third channel involves the realization of a full-scale prototype and the publication and presentation of findings.
Principal Academic Tutor
Stefano Mariani, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Politecnico di Milano
Stefano Invernizzi, Department of Structural, Geotechnical and Building Engineering, Politecnico di Torino
Giovanna Piccinno, Department of Design, Politecnico di Milano
Hamid Akbarzadeh, Bioresource & Mechanical Engineering, McGill University
Haykaz Poghosyan, Architectural Design, Politecnico di Milano
Isabella Flore, Architecture, Politecnico di Milano
Mahsa Bohlooli Zamani, Management of Built Environment, Politecnico di Milano
Massimo Fontana, Building Engineering, Politecnico di Milano
Natalie Antonenko, Interior Design, Politecnico di Milano
Nina Romanova, Urban Planning & Policy Design, Politecnico di Milano
Timothy Liddell [Team Controller], Integrated Product Design, Politecnico di Milano