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Wed, May 29 2019|

Milan, 29 May 2019 – A new building with a maximum total surface area of 35,000 square metres will be built in the Milan Innovation District – MIND to complete the Human Technopole facility and will be the main venue of the Institute’s research laboratories. Today, the Human Technopole Foundation and Arexpo presented the international call for proposals for the building’s design. Human Technopole also presented updates regarding the progress of its start up phase.


Once completed, the new building will accommodate laboratories, scientific instruments, and up to 800 workstations for researchers. Alongside the main building, the project includes areas connecting the various Human Technopole centres and facilities, links between the new building and existing structures and outdoor areas.


Human Technopole is the main client of the project, while Arexpo acts as the delegated commissioning body. The call for the design was published on the developer’s website and on the platform. The tender envisages two consecutive phases: the first phase will consist of an anonymous procedure to identify the seven best design proposals, which will proceed to the next phase. The winner will be identified in the second part of the selection process that will also be anonymous.


Marco Simoni President of the Human Technopole Foundation emphasised that: "The design and construction of the new building represent an important step forward in setting up Human Technopole. The new building will be the main structure hosting laboratories, offices and spaces where researchers will be able to compare and discuss views, circulate knowledge, new ideas and allow innovative approaches to flourish in the fight against serious illnesses, for example, tumours and neurodegenerative diseases. This represents a very important investment for Human Technopole because the maximum cost of the construction work amounts to 94.5 million Euros. In view of its importance, we have envisaged a strict roadmap for the building process: the design must allow the construction process to be completed in a maximum of 1,100 consecutive days, equal to about three years".


Marco Carabelli General Manager of Arexpo declared: "The partnership between Arexpo and Human Technopole has already produced tangible results with the refunctionalisation of “Palazzo Italia”. Today the building is Human Technopole’s headquarters and it will be fully completed this summer. Arexpo, as the commissioning body, will manage the construction of the new building. This will rise at the heart of Human Technopole’s scientific project and represent an essential pillar of MIND, the innovation ecosystem that is being developed in the area.”


Contents of the laboratories

The new building will be host researchers and supporting technical and administrative personnel corresponding to a combined total of 1,000 staff. The new building will accommodate research and supporting laboratories, including, for example, laboratories able to accommodate cryo-electron (Cryo EM) microscopes.



The design philosophy

The design should reflect the concept of "openness" that characterises Human Technopole: for example, the building’s design will include spaces and solutions which encourage meetings, exchange of ideas and knowledge among researchers. In addition, part of the building should be dedicated to visitors, training laboratories, joint laboratories and start-up activities.


The new building must comply with these general principles:

  • be characterised by an innovative architecture and a quality urban design that integrates with the overall setting of Mind;
  • create a modern working environment that supports the development of scientific talents;
  • provide a flexible configuration that will allow for spaces to be redefined in the future;
  • use innovative construction techniques which enable construction times and costs to be reduced and which are sustainable from an environmental point of view.


Project requirements

The new building should have a maximum total surface area of 35,000 square metres and a footprint that does not exceed 6,290 square metres. The building’s maximum height above ground should not exceed 70 metres and the portion below ground should not exceed 5 metres. The call for proposals establishes that the HT Campus should cover an area of about 22,150 square metres.


In addition to the research laboratories, the new building should also be able to accommodate common areas, a canteen facility, halls for meetings and seminars and supporting administrative offices. The total surface area dedicated to the primary laboratories should be at least 6,480 square metres and the same space will be dedicated to supporting laboratories. The area intended for office use will have a minimum surface area of 3,914 square metres.


The building’s floor plan should have a shape that optimises the net useful surface areas. All the floors should include a mix of the main functions. Another important aspect related to the organisation of spaces is represented by their flexibility: the spaces should be adaptable to instrumentation and functions which today are not foreseen, but which could be adopted in the future.


Dry construction techniques should be privileged in order to speed up the construction times and reduce costs. A variable percentage of between 50% and 80% of the building’s components should be prefabricated and the choice of the construction materials should be aimed at minimising the environmental impact.


Furthermore, the building should characterise itself as a smart building: its components should be interconnected, in accordance with the internet of things model. This will enable them to be automated, easy to manage, flexible and energy-efficient.