The main feature of patterns and parametric surfaces addressed by architects at Atelier Manferdini is using the principle of repetitiveness to play with the figurative and structural role of computational design. Versatile applications of those motifs are explored through a wide variety of the Studio’s work, ranging from fashion and lighting design to architectural projects. Somewhere between ornament and structure, the lacy metal roof of the Malpensa Airport seeks to find common ground between decorative aspects of patterns and their role in the digital optimization of architecture.

The project involved the replacement of the connecting tunnel between the Express Train Station and the Terminal 1 of the Milan Airport, all in preparation for the World Expo in 2015. The designed segment comprises a covered area that will serve as an exhibition space as well as a pedestrian trajectory, connecting the sides with roof gardens. The part of the roof overhang on the west side is clearly visible from the street lanes that flank the underlying construction of the new Hotel Malpensa.

The roof is supported by a metal frame to ensure lightness and limit the weight, and avoid compromising the existing structure of the parking lot below. The north side of the structure is adjacent to the hard deck of Terminal-1, which connects the foot to impart the necessary lateral stability against wind and seismic loads.

The cover is made ​​of a modular system of metal bent brush anodized in 3 shades (gold, natural and mirrored). The geometry of folded panels and reflective surfaces of the metal create rich effects in light and color that change with the angle of the light source and with the observer’s viewing angle, giving dynamism and lightness to the new port of Milan. During daylight hours, the geometry of the modular system and its openings are less frequent at the ends of the cover and act as tree branches by creating a play of light and shade. During the night, the perforations in the cover spread interior lighting onto the pedestrian crossing.


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