Velasca design project - ideas under the tower: the winner is bruta project by the scuola politecnica di design

UnipolSai created 1:1 scale prototypes of the 4 projects presented that will remain on display in the Aquarium Space on the ground floor of the Tower throughout summer

Milan, July 04, 2016 PRESS RELEASE

In first place BRUTA (Scuola Politecnica di Design), in second place PANNA, (IED – Istituto Europeo di Design), in third place LIGHT SCAPE (NABA) and in fourth place PANDOREA (Politecnico di Milano).

These are the results of the first edition of Velasca Progetto DesignIdee sotto la Torre,the contest organised by UnipolSai Assicurazioni as part of the Urban Up project, in collaboration with Lissoni Architettura S.p.A. The aim was to value and promote the creativity of young designers in line with what the Velasca Tower represents, a symbol of innovation for over 50 years. Young talents from the best design schools were invited to participate (Politecnico di Milano, Scuola Politecnica di Design, IED and NABA).

The awards ceremony was held on the ground floor of the Velasca Tower in the presence of the Unipol Group’s top management, directors and representatives from the most important Italian design schools as well as many students. For the event, UnipolSai created 1:1 scale prototypes of the projects presented by each school. The prototypes, together with the selected projects and those out of competition, will be on display in the Aquarium Space (set up in collaboration with Kerakoll Design House) on the ground floor of the Tower for the entire summer period, starting 30 June.

The Jury deemed BRUTA “a project that interpreted the contemporary use scenarios excellently, while expressing effective continuity with the tradition of Italian design. In Bruta – as stated in the comments – an element drawn from industrial processing, the extruded profile, becomes the main body of a lamp with a strong visual impact and bold personality, whose style is attributable, in its forms and expressive simplicity, to the architecture of the Velasca Tower.”

In PANNA, the Jury saw “a simple, effective and ecological project. The choice of material reflects a particular sensitivity to the important issue – now more relevant and urgent than ever – of environmental sustainability, which has always been a founding value of the Unipol Group”.

The third place finisher, LIGHT SCAPE “is a project – as stated in the Jury comments – permeated by strong symbolic and evocative value. Inspired by the dialogue between light and shadow that in nature draws countless constantly changing landscapes, this lamp also generates infinite emotions for those who use it”.

Finally, for the Jury, PANDOREA “stood out for its ability to combine the functional aspect of a lamp with the technological factor of voice recognition. Its modularity and possibility for customisation make the lamp a versatile object, young and undoubtedly appealing.”

The assessment of the projects took into account their ability to define and anticipate innovative and contemporary use scenarios in continuity and/or rupture with the historical tradition of Italian design (Creativity, Functionality, Innovation, Originality, Quality, Production Cost, Reproducibility, Production Simplicity). All projects submitted were examined by a Jury of experts, formed by important figures and representatives from the industrial and design world (Gilda Bojardi, Director of the Magazine INTERNI; Luciano Galimberti, Architect and President of ADI, Associazione per il Design Industriale (Association for the Industrial Design); Fulvio Irace, Architecture Historian and Professor of Architectural History at the Politecnico di Milano; Piero Lissoni, Architect, Designer and Art Director for prestigious companies; Antonella Ranaldi, Architect, Superintendent of Fine Arts and Landscape for the provinces of Milan, Bergamo, Como, Lecco, Lodi, Monza, Pavia, Sondrio and Varese; Massimiliano Morrone. UnipolSai Assicurazioni SpA – Head of Asset & Investment Management, Real Estate and Real Estate AMC.

The 3 winners selected will receive the following prizes from UnipolSai::

  • 1st place project: prize worth €10,000.00
  • 2nd place project: prize worth €8,000.00
  • 3rd place project: prize worth €5,000.00


BRUTA (SPD – Scuola Politecnica di Design)
Daniel Franchini, Marisa Rotolo, Victor Hyll Nilsson

A small architectural piece inspired by a structural element that declares its origin without disguise. Light passes through the extruded profile providing both direct and diffused lighting for a warm and kind domestic effect. The reinforced concrete base gives the composition stability and highlights the aspect of continuity, balancing lightness and monumentality.

Bruta consists of three elements: the structure, the diffusers and the base. The extruded element contains the LED sources while tracks on the front and back contain diffusers, enabling direct lighting from the front and diffused lighting from the back, separately controllable. The matt PMMA diffusers reduce brightness and make it possible to achieve the desired effect in the environment.

Studenti: Davide Piersanti, Ginevra Franchi –

Panna comes from the idea of a light, nomadic and simple design. The project originates from a practical approach, playing with materials through cuts, incisions and joints. The idea is a flat pack chair, where assembly is left to the end user, becoming an integral part of the project.

Panna is a chair with a light character. It is an object formed by the composition of shapes in a puzzle-like game of assembly. It is obtained from recycled plastic panels with a unique finish for each piece of material. The idea behind it is a flat pack seat designed for an incredibly nomadic and lightweight user who becomes an integral part of the project, participating in the final assembly and thus creating affinity between the user and the object.

Andrea Violante, Meeratchata Rujinarong, Yi ting Chiang

Light Scape originates from the observation of shadows in nature, which tend to change according to the time. Each shadow conveys different sensations. Light Scape plays on the emotions that shadows can evoke, giving life to interactions in movement.

With Light Scape, the user can change light intensity and direction as preferred. The play with shadows is created by a pattern made of sheet metal using CNC laser cutting technology. The latter is also customisable and interchangeable with other patterns with different shapes and designs that will create ever new “luminous landscapes”.

PANDOREA (Politecnico di Milano)
Cristina Muto

Pandorea is a lamp that breaks down light and disintegrates it on the wall creating various compositions. It is activated without physical contact: all you need is a word to turn it on. It is like a family photo in which all components are different from one another, but all inevitably linked by a single thread.

Pandorea comprises a central body that acts as a receiver and secondary bodies assembled to taste and customisable in terms of size and colour. Although the modules are all different, they are formally essential and clean so as to be easily placed in various environments. Even its creation takes place thanks to simple bending that transforms the metal sheet from two-dimensional to three-dimensional.

The architecture of the Velasca Tower, designed in the fifties by Studio Architetti BBPR, Lodovico Belgiojoso, Enrico Peressutti, Ernesto Rogers (structural design by engineer Professor Arturo Danusso) and built in 1958, immediately sparked major cultural debate, locally, nationally and internationally. The first “tall” building in the centre of Milan, the Velasca Tower was an exemplary embodiment of the modern movement with a precise relationship between form and function, as well as attention to the pre-existing environment, namely the creation of a relationship between the new architecture and the characteristics of the urban system in which it is located. A theme that, in those years, was launched by Ernesto Rogers in international debate. For the Unipol Group, owner of the property since 2012, returning a central role to Velasca Tower is an important part of its redevelopment strategy for this unique architectural landmark on the Milanese skyline. The process that began with Opening Velasca during the Expo period, from the start, intended to bring the Velasca Tower back to the centre of cultural debate, making it a protagonist not only in Milan but also at a national and international level. Milan Design Week 2016 was another important event, when the Velasca Tower became the new and undisputed place to be during FuoriSalone. With the contest Velasca Design Project – Ideas under the Tower, the Unipol Group continued enhancing and promoting this important building. The Velasca Tower is part of the Unipol Group project dedicated to the real estate redevelopment of properties owned by the Group, aimed at restoring value to some of the most important buildings on the Italian architectural scene.

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