Milan’s South Park

The purpose of this studio is to work with each student to explore his or her own aesthetic in the conceptualization and design of Milan\’s South Park. Students will be working from a larger urban design scale during which larger open-space conditions of Milan will be taken into account, and through the semester work down to a site-scale where specific design solutions will be developed.IntroductionMilan is the expanding industrial engine of Italy. As a result, Milan\’s success is having a major and devastating impact upon the open spaces and parks of its historic central core. By far, the most visually disconcerting and environmentally damaging aspect of these open spaces is the drastic placement of the automobile. Indeed, virtually every possible open space has been negatively impacted by cars. Everywhere you look in the still architecturally exciting and important historic center, there are cars on top of cars, quadruply parked. A statistic reports that there are over 160,000 illegally parked cars in Milan every day, while no tickets are issued.Milan is in desperate need of an attitude adjustment in terms of the use of the car. In a city world-renowned for its fashion industry the visual degradation of the city is paradoxical. The studio will focus first on developing proposals for how to create an open-space system within the old city which will be created through the removal of cars, and which links to a major new open space which will form a major infra-structure for Milan\’s new development to the south, South Park.South ParkThe major portion of the studio will be spent on the development of an intervention on a substantial area of land, about the size of Central Park, included within an area called \”Parco Sud Milan\” or South Park. This is a large protected agricultural land that forms a green belt around the whole southern fringe of the city.This site has the unique characteristic of being in the process of being enclosed from all sides by the urbanization and spreading of the many municipalities of Milano. Most of these municipalities are residential communities featuring relatively low-density developments (4 – 5 story average height) that date back to the 60\’s and 70\’s. These residential environments are desperately lacking open spaces and venues for public life.ScheduleThe class will start off with a sketch problem, Design In A Box, where we will be exploring the relationship between art and landscape architecture. We will take a field trip to New York where we visit museums and galleries, as well as spend a day looking at Central Park so to establish a mental picture of the scale of the park, which is similar to South Park.The next portion of the class will begin with a funded field trip to Milan where students will spend time looking at Milan\’s older center and its open spaces. We will then turn our attention to the South Park site where we will spend two days exploring, walking, and recording information. During this time we will meet with Dr. Carlo Ezechieli from the Politecnico de Milano, Dipartimento de Architettura e Pianificazione, who will be participating with us and running a parallel studio in Milan.After the trip, students will be working individually to develop their own strategy and design for South Park and how it might connect back to the center through an open-space connection. These designs will be fully developed in plan, section, and model which will be presented to Milan city officials. An official jury will award a financial prize to the best project, as well as second and third prizes. An exhibition of all the projects may be organized in January.EligibilityAll students from all departments are welcomed; however, they must prove that they have had grading experience.You may contact Martha at [email protected]. Funding is pending.<br