Grafton Architects – Bocconi University

I have been several times in this building since it was opened. Personally, I’m fascinated and whenever I happen to pass nearby I always find a new perspective or a new detail to photograph.

While talking with some students perceive almost indifference in their eyes, there is no doubt that the building has helped to make this university a center of architectural importance within the city and beyond.

The building certainly affects its expressive power, looks like a giant monolith fell from the sky. Although in the description that Grafton Architects do says it will be open to the city; this is not an effect obtained. Strikes almost afraid to passers-by

This does not mean that it is not a good architecture. And except for the fact that the building plan is very complex and this for students is a real tragedy when you are looking for classrooms – is extremely good architecture that always offers a new view around every corner and that gives the best of whether regarding the interior spaces.




Description on the official site of Grafton architects:

“We saw this brief as an opportunity for the Luigi Bocconi University to make a space at the scale of the city. To this end we have built at the scale of the site,80m x160m. Inside, our building is thought of as a large market hall or place of exchange. The Building’s hall acts as a filter between the city and the university.”

“The northern edge of the site fronts onto the artery of Viale Bligny, with the clatter of trams, the rush of busses, general traffic, people passing. It addresses the throbbing urban life of Milan, weaves into the mesh of the city. This frontage becomes the architectural opportunity to have a ‘window’ to Milan (…) For this reason, the public space of the aula magna occupies this frontage, asserting a symbolic presence and a register of the prestigious status of the University.”

Grafton architects

Grafton architects

Grafton architects





On is well described the sustainability of the buildings:
“For both architectural and environmental reasons the Aula Magna and the Meeting Room volumes are expressed as solids, either embedded and rising out of the ground as is the case with the Aula, or cantilevered and floating over the street as is the case with the Meeting Rooms. This solid edge forms a microclimate giving protection against solar gain from the west together with acoustic protection to the north. The strategy of the labyrinth of courtyards provides natural ventilation and natural light”

All photographs (except where specified) ©Luca Onniboni – (do whatever you want, reminding us)

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