17/02 | MIAW DAY 5


Today we had the chance to attend the Speed Talk by Roberto Cavallo, introduced by Martino Mocchi. He shared interesting cases from his professional experience in the Netherlands, revealing innovative methods and visions of the project, very useful to be confronted with the case of Porta Romana rail yard. The lecture focuses on the interactions between infrastructures and cities, in relation to urban transformations, introducing a deep reflection on the theme of “connection”. The many levels that lay behind this concept go from the large urban scale, reaching up to the architectural and technological ones, including the relation with local people.“The project of the connection is something open, fostering a dynamic transformation of place. We are not able to generate connections until we ask ourselves what we want to connect – and why”.

SECTION A – Dubois  
The students had the opportunity to present their work and receive some interesting feedback from the invited Professor Elena Fontanella. Now the challenge is to work together (virtually) to investigate the topic of “variation” along a linear infrastructure.

#verticalcity #linearinfrastructure #spatialcontinuity #visualconnections #sharedliving

SECTION B – Fioretti 
In the atelier of Professor Fioretti we divided the day in two parts: at the beginning there was a short but important communication about some significant types of social housing. Then, together with the guest professors Francesca Belloni and Francesco Bruno, we discussed some design issues during the ordinary reviews.

#relationship #complexity #linearity #suggestions #teaching

SECTION C – Irarrázaval 
Students from all over the world are contributing to the projects with their personals backgrounds. Aerial walkways, cybernetics parks, trees species and monumental arenas: each project is enriching by developing its own peculiar character finding inspiration in the world of art and nature.

#arenas #bridge #theatre #structure #malevic

SECTION D – Cavallo 
Moving forward right to the final definition of the ideas. Now it is the time for the specific close-ups, the fragments that would represent the whole story… The students had the 2nd mid-workshop presentation. The concept for each projects is defined, now it is time to design with a higher degree of detail the green areas and the inner circulation system of the area.

#urbanconnection #socialinvolvement #publicspace #urbancourtyards #greeninfrastructure

SECTION E – Sánchez García
In the atelier of professor Sànchez Garcìa we were able to have a discussion with every group. The aim was on the one hand to clarify the various themes and on the other to understand wich were the better drawings to represent these ideas.

#masterplan #ideas #community #clarity

This fifth working day ended with the Speed Talk by prof. Roberto Cavallo, introduced by Martino Mocchi.
The lecture has been recorded and it is available here:



The purpose of architectural education is not only to train professionally capable and brilliant architects, but rather critical intellectuals with a moral conscience.”Introduced by prof. Elena Fontanella, the prof. Hervé Dubois choose to start his speed talk of today (the recording is available here)  with a tribute to Luigi Snozzi’s work. References and personal experience build the precise lecture on the theme of the House with a several projects, that for sure will give a help to the students in the interpretation of the topic they are deal with. The forth intensive day is going to end. Half way point for our students, mentors and tutors.

SECTION A – Dubois  
Today at Atelier A, the students have presented their projects going in-depth into the chosen topic. We set up a virtual round table discussion to condense all the design proposals into a unique architectural and spatial solution.

SECTION B – Fioretti 
The students took their positions, explaining their compositional reasons. Some are focusing more on the park, some on the buildings, and some on the connections between north and south, crossing the railroad. It’s time to think about how best to describe the projects, which are all very impressive.

SECTION C – Irarrázaval 
Projects evolve: the forms are refined, the structures begin to become concrete and the relations with the city are now defined. Now it’s up to the functional program!

SECTION D – Cavallo 
The six groups are working on the general masterplan for the area of the Porta Romana railyards, combining the conceptual strategy with the design actions at the base of their projects.

SECTION E – Sánchez García
In the atelier of Professor Sánchez García today a lecture about project references and architectural themes was presented by the tutors. After that we have continue with the project reviews. 

This fourth working day ended with the Speed Talk by prof. Hervé Dubois, introduced by Elena Fontanella.
The lecture has been recorded and it is available here



…design activities underway… the final week of the workshop has begun! Students and tutors are working within their ateliers in different modalities – by groups, individually, in public sessions. The focus is on connections, hierarchies, public spaces, infrastructures. Porta Romana rail yard will be part of the system for winter Olympic Games 2026, including other districts of South Milan – e.g. Porta Giulia, hosting an arena for 15.000 spectators. As in other cases – recently EXPO 2015 – big events are an opportunity for fostering urban renewal and regeneration. In this context, the legacy of the Olympic Games will provide about 2.000 new beds to students: an important contribution to developing the HE system and an opportunity for introducing innovative forms of living and dwelling in Milan.

SECTION A – Dubois  
Here some highlights of the first milestone. The students have shared their design results about the linear infrastructure to define a set of topics they want to approach in future steps. The different ideas will converge into a communal and shared design proposal to rethink the area of Porta Romana railyard.

SECTION B – Fioretti 
Today at the atelier held by architect Donatella Fioretti there was a lot of talk about urban logic and hierarchy inside the project. Students start working at different scales, in order to focus on singularity without losing the urbanity of the intervention. There is still much to be done, but projects are taking shape.

SECTION C – Irarrázaval 
Back to work after the weekend! Today busy day of reviews in Irrarázaval classroom trying to find the right balance between shape and construction system. Next goal: give forms a meaning!

SECTION D – Cavallo 
Today the students presented their state of advancement to prof. Roberto Cavallo for the 1st mid-workshop review, focused on the analysis of the area and on the preliminary strategic concept produced by each of the six groups.

SECTION E – Sánchez García
Today we have a discussion about the first ideas of masterplan given by students’ groups, trying to develop some topics that in the days before came out. 

Sunday…free day!


After two days of intensive work and lectures, Sunday is a free day for our students and our visiting professors!
They are starting to deal with the theme of the Olympic Village for the winter games Milano-Cortina 2026, in the big empty area of Porta Romana railyard, one of the seven dismissed railyard that surrounds Milano without closing it. It was born in between the two historical axes that connected the city of Milano with Piacenza (Via Aemilia, today Coso Lodi) and Pavia (today Via Ripamonti) in a portion of the city on the edge of the countryside, today Parco Agricolo Sud. With the coming of modernity, Porta Romana becomes an important landing place for goods, whose construction and evolution is documented in the beautiful paintings by Umberto Boccioni, who saw the growing and changing of the area from his balcony. We will soon know how each atelier will interpret these traces and how the new projects will dialogue with the city that grew up outside its boundary.



Second full workshop day: the groups have continued with their work within the Ateliers coordinated by visiting professors. “Infrastructures”, “connections”, “voids”, “urban scale”, “green areas” are the more common and shared keywords that emerged from the reflection. In the next few days, the projects are deepening into the architectonical scale. Here some numbers to frame the intervention: 187.226 sqm Land Area, 50% dedicated to Green. 164.000 sqm Total GFA, of which 68% dedicated to Free GFA and 32% to Subsidized Housing. Great quantities that will change the face of the city.

SECTION A – Dubois  
Today at the Atelier held by Professor Dubois, the students have presented their firsts thoughts about the new linear infrastructure, defining a dynamic public round for new relations within the city of Milan.

SECTION B – Fioretti 
Today we have made some reviews and we have focused more on the project, starting to analyze the architectural and typological aspects of the buildings. In addition, the park design and connecting infrastructure are also beginning to be described. The projects are very interesting, they have a lot of potentials


SECTION C – Irarrázaval 
Projects start to take shape in Irrarázaval classroom! Students showed their ideas for Scalo di Porta Romana and between grids, diagrams, and art pieces projects go on inspired by two exciting lectures on “Repetition in architecture” and “Prefabricated systems” by professor Irrarázaval.

SECTION D – Cavallo 
The students are working on the interpretative analysis of the area that will result in the general strategy of their projects, combining the morphological and socio-economical potentialities and limits of the Porta Romana railyard.

SECTION E – Sánchez García
Today we worked on the strategic approach, talking about some aspects of this part of the city. We talked about some topics such as parks, architecture as infrastructure, linear city and boundaries.



All the students, guided by their mentors and tutors, in their virtual classrooms, today started to show their impressions and sketches about the place, Porta Romana, and reasonings about the interpretation of the theme proposed by this Miaw2021 edition. Specific lectures that explain various topics and approaches towards urban design were held in each classroom, as well as collective discussions and reviews. 

SECTION A – Dubois  
#linearinfrastructure #spatialcontinuity  #verticalcity  #permanencevsmodification #sharingcommunity

SECTION B – Fioretti 
#boundary #atmosphere #urbanism #landscape #identity 

SECTION C – Irrarazaval
#diagrams #branches #lines #dots #combs #knots #sewtheedge #palacesforpeople #montage #ecology #hibrydtypoligies

SECTION D – Cavallo
#eventcity #potential #urbanvoid #greeninfrastructure #tangramarchitects

SECTION E – Sanchez
#Inside/outside  #walkway&Connections #Greenbelt #Flexibility

This first working day ended with the first Speed Talk by prof. Sebastián Irarrázaval, introduced by prof. Claudia Tinazzi. 
Ephemeral and Permanent.
3 set designs + 3 buildings, a clear and deep lecture of architecture, has been recorded and it is available here.
And to know more about prof. Irarrázaval work: https://www.sebastianirarrazaval.net



Dress rehearsal for MIAW 2021 takes place today. The activities started with the presentation of material, introduced by Giulia Setti, followed by Martino Mocchi, for an overview of the Functional Program. After a plenary session, the more than 100 students involved in the workshop were split into 5 virtual classes for the first discussion with professors and tutors. Different approaches have emerged, which hint at very interesting conclusions, fostering different views of Porta Romana rail yard regeneration. A great kick-off for the beginning of the next working days, during which professors and students will put their expertise to explore and expand possibilities for this metropolitan area.

The recorded event is available here!

The workshop will take place totally online. Let’s meet again on February 12th for the first day of the intensive week!

MIAW 2021


The challenging urban regeneration
of Milano Porta Romana rail yard

The MIAW – Milan International Architecture Workshop is the international intensive program of the School of Architecture Urban Planning Construction Engineering. It is an international design forum for schools, teachers and students, but it is also an informal platform to discuss different issues and share ambitions. The aim of the workshop is to stimulate cross-over thinking between researchers and practitioners in the design field, involving different scales and encouraging an interdisciplinary approach towards the design problems. Each class of the workshop is held by an International Guest Professor of high profile whose activity and interests are related to the different study courses and disciplinary areas characterizing our school.

The MIAW 2021 edition will focus on the event of the 2026 Winter Olympic Games Milano-Cortina. The workshop will allow to experiment new architectural approaches that will make the Olympic Games fisically-responsible, socially-sustainable and environmentally-friendly. The classes will focus on urban strategies and architecture projects to be implemented in the sites dedicated to the Olympic Games in Milan, with the intention of transforming the event in an opportunity for the city of Milan through a log-term regeneration process. 

Sebastián Irarrázaval

He was taught as an architect in the Universidad Católica in Santiago and the Architectural Association in London. In 1993 he set up his own practice in Santiago. In 1999 he receives the AOA (Architecture Offices Association) award to the most outstanding young architect and was awarded at the Architecture Biennial in Chile. Teaches design studio at the Universidad Católica de Chile since 1994 and has taught as visiting professor in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA, 2007) and the Università IUAV di Venezia (Italy, 2016, 2020). His projects have been published worldwide in specialized magazines, among them: Casabella, Arquitectura Viva, ARQ, and A+U. Practice work has been exhibited locally and abroad. Recent exhibitions include XV Chilean Architectural Biennial, Venice Biennale, Shenzhen and Hong Kong bi-city Biennial where he received the Public Choice Award and the Milan Triennial where he exhibited and ideal city for Africa. Irarrázaval has been awarded twice at the WAVE International Workshop held at IUAV in Venice (Italy, 2014-2015) and has been shortlisted for the Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize (USA, 2016) and the Architecture Swiss Award (Switzerland, 2017). Recently his project 2Y house was chosen among the best 3 projects of the year by Archdaily and his latest project Public Library of Constitución has been granted Merit at the AZ Award (Canada, 2016), Honor at the Wood Design and Building Award (Canada, 2016) and RIBA Award for International Excellence (UK, 2017).  Recently Irarrázaval has been awarded Eeero Saarinen Honorary Lecturer by the Museum of Finish Architecture (Finland, 2017) and Riba International Fellowship by the Royal Institute of British Architects.

Roberto Cavallo

Associate Professor at the Department of Architecture where he is currently head of the Section Theory & Territories, chair of the group Architectural Design Crossovers and member of the departmental Research Steering Team. He has been Director of Education for the Faculty of Architecture & the Built Environment (BK), Delft University of Technology (TUD) between 2014-2019. He rounded up his PhD at the TUD in 2008, obtained the ius promovendi from the TUD Board of Doctorates in 2017, and is currently supervisor of several PhD candidates as promoter and co-promoter. In 2018 he was elected council member of the EAAE (European Association of Architectural Education), and he is a founding member of the Architectural Research Network ARENA. In 2013 he worked as a senior researcher at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences (SASS), Centre for Urban and Regional Studies (CURS), at the Faculty of Architecture of Hong Kong University (HKU), and in 2014 at the College of Architecture & Urban Planning (CAUP) of the Beijing Technical University (BJUT). His research contributions and scientific publications are touching upon theory, education and practice ranging from the urban to the architectural project and have good impact in terms of valorisation as well as in terms of number of research projects and initiatives on national and international level. He has an extensive experience in organizing, coordinating and leading international workshops, symposia, conferences and exhibitions, and he is often invited for (keynote) lectures and as member of scientific committees in international academic events in The Netherlands and abroad.

José María Sánchez García

Architect graduated from E.T.S.A.M. Escuela Politecnica de Madrid, 2002 graduation year. International Doctorate. PhD thesis: “The Bath case.”, 2006. Full professor at ETSAM, Escuela Politecnica de Madrid (2008-2020). Invited Professor at the Accademia di Architettura di Mendrisio (AAM, 2015-2019), Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich (ETH ZÜRICH, 2014-2015), Università di Venezia (IUAV, 2015-2016), Universidad de Navarra (UNAV, 2013-2014 and 2019-2020). His work has been awarded and recognized on various occasions, of which it is worth mentioning the First Prize obtained at the BSI SWISS ARCHITECTURAL AWARD in 2014; the First Prize X BIAU Bienal Iberoamericana de Arquitectura y Urbanismo 2010 and 2016, the First Prize of the AR+D Architectural Review for Emerging Architecture in London and the Architectural Record’s Design Vanguard Award of New York in 2009. It is also worth mentioning at the Spanish level, the Honorable Mention of the “Premio de Arquitectura Española 2017”; the First Prize XIII BEAU Bienal Española de Arquitectura y Urbanismo in 2016; the First Prize Luis Moreno Mansilla, COAM Madrid in 2014 and the First Enor Prize 2014. José María is Honorary Member, International Fellow, of the Royal Institute of British Architects, RIBA (2017). The work of the studio has a direct relationship with the teaching and research activities carried out in the field of architectural design.

Hervé Dubois

Graduated at l’école d’architecture Paris-Belleville. Since 2015, he is teaching at ENSA Paris-Val de Seine (CPS president since 2018). He is visiting professor at Politecnico di Milano (2013-2020). In 2008-2015 he was teacher at ENSA Marseille. 2002-2008 teacher at ENSA Lille. 2001-2002, invited teacher at Politecnico di Milano. 1998-2002, teacher at ENSA Lille. 1995-1998, associate teacher at ENSA Lille. 1991-1994, assistant at Ecole d’architecture de l’Université de Genève. Since 2015 he is Architecte-conseil de l’état in French Guyane.