Coronavirus, sustainable architecture – Angelo Renna‘s Sansiro 2.0 proposal sees 35.000 cypresses to be planted along the new retaining walls of Milan’s football stadium. Almost 35.000 people have lost their life in Italy during the last five months during the coronavirus pandemic with Milan city being one of the main epicenters. The cypress is a highly characteristic signature of Italian cemeteries and sacred spaces, like a symbol of immortality and an emblem of life after death.
Turning a place of joy and celebration into a silent space for commemoration could seem a quite bold repurposing. “The proposal aims to give to Sansiro a new role and identity. A second life.,” says Angelo Rezza to Archipanic. “I do not see it as a contrast but as an opportunity to create something unique.”
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Known as Sansiro, the Giuseppe Meazza football stadium “looks like a spaceship set down”, wrote The Financial Times that listed it as one of the most important stadiums worldwide. Still, AC Milan and Inter-Milan have launched their bid to knock down the SanSiro and build a new 60,000-capacity home on the same site while heritage authorities declared that it “has no cultural interest and as such it is excludedfrom the protection provisions.”
“I believe that Sansiro is an important piece of Milan’s history, a cultural venue that hosted so many memories across many generations. It should be preserved!” Says Angelo Rezza to Archipanic. Hence the idea of transforming SanSiro in a place of commemoration in memory of the victims of COVID-19′.
The project proposes also the complete demolition of the roof in order to allow daily light and rainfalls to hit the ground. New programs will be placed underneath the tribune: a museum, a research center, ateliers for students and researchers. At the bottom of the tribunes, a new concave shape of the ground pitch will allow the possibility to collect rainwater creating water zones. The water will be collected in underground tanks and reused for irrigation and cleaning purposes.
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“The pandemic has taught us that designing nature can contribute to rebalance the human made and the nature made.” Says Angelo Rezza ti Archipanic. “The virus became an issue because we built where wildlife once thrived. I hope architects will build cities according to a new scale of values. Pope Francis once asked: how can we be healthy in a sick world? That is a good point to start from!”
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All images by Angelo Renna.