Now, the same relationship between organic forms and human life seems to be the basis for the new campus designed by SANAA for Bocconi University in Milan. After the success linked to their Rolex Learning Centre, built on the campus of EPFL Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, SANAA again set out to design a non-hierarchal relationship between the elements of a landscape that is human before it is architectural. The campus lies on the former site of Milan's Centrale del Latte (milk-processing plant), whose north side is attached to the university's existing complex. SANAA designed dormitories, a recreation centre, a School of Management, and buildings for Bocconi's Master and Executive programmes, all erected on a spacious 17,500-square-metre public park open to students and neighbourhood residents.
A series of inner courts connects a cafeteria, administrational offices and a university store. Each nucleus is based on a building size of modest dimensions in order to give the interiors natural light, offer sweeping apertures on to the courts and optimise natural ventilation, reducing the need to use artificial illumination and air circulation.
Beyond the aesthetics of academic power and university conviviality, the design of learning spaces might be one of the most interesting fields in architecture of the past few decades.