Magical Subterranean World

Universita Luigi Bocconi, Milan

Architects: Yvonne Farrell, Shelley McNamara – Grafton Architects
Text: Eszter Götz
Photos: Federico Brunetti


The new building of Milan-based Universita Luigi Bocconi was inaugurated on a last day of October and has proved an architectural curiosity a week before its opening as it has been awarded the main prize of World Architecture Festival, 2008. The hanging rows of seats in the aula form the focus and the heart of the building much like an imposing piece of cliff the upper edge of which breaks through the roof level. The jury of the Barcelona festival with such famous architects as Robert Stern, Richard Burdett or Cecil Balmond as its members who described the complex system of interconnections of the aula, the lower level and the street as „a magical underground empire”.

Design: Grafton Architects
Architects: Yvonne Farrell, Shelley McNamara, Gerard Carty, Philippe O’Sullivan
Structure: Studio Ingegneria E. Pereira
Environment: BDSP Partnership
Acoustics: Arpservice P. Molina
Facade design: BDA Ltd
Interior design: Avenue Architects
Facade system: Permasteelisa Group
Stone cladding: Marini Marmi s.r.l.
Client: Universita’ Luigi Bocconi
Main contractor: G.D.M. Costruzioni S.p.a.