San Donato Milanese (Milan), 12 March 2012 – Tomorrow, 13 March, at 18:00 CET, Thom Mayne, founder of Morphosis Architects and head of the team that won the international competition for the construction of the new Eni corporate headquarters in San Donato Milanese for the 2015 Expo, will be holding a lectio magistralis in the Hall of Honour of the Milan Triennale (Viale Alemagna 6, free admission), as part of the “Un Nuovo Segno‘.exhibition organised by Eni.
Born in Waterbury, Connecticut, on 19 January 1944, Thom Mayne studied at Harvard University and in 1972 was one of the founders of the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-ARC). He teaches at the SCI-ARC and at the University of California, and manages Morphosis Architects from its offices in Santa Monica. In March 2005 he won the Pritzker Prize, the most important award in architecture. Each year, the Pritzker Prize honours a living architect whose work demonstrates a combination of talent, vision, and a consistent commitment to architecture that adds significantly to humanity and the environment.
Among the ten shortlisted designs for the corporate headquarters in San Donato Milanese on display at the Triennale, the fluid and dynamic architecture of Thom Mayne and Morphosis Architects best captures Eni’s fundamental values: the individual, the community, and the environment. The individual and the community are central to Mayne’s project, in which the square is both the symbolic and physical heart of the new building, while the [management] towers forego any sense of individuality, promoting instead an architectural style in the horizontal plane that is inclusive and engaging
The “Un Nuovo Segno‘ exhibition is built around two parallel concepts: “know‘ and “raw‘. The former captures the historical and urban aspects of the new building, while the latter is directly projected in the exhibition area displaying the 10 projects, promoting as it does a vision of “pure‘ architecture, unencumbered by didactic, cultural and contextual restrictions.
The projects, exhibited on large white surfaces which appear almost to float on a halo of light, are presented side by side so as to emphasise the value of each work and the creative efforts of each team of finalists.
Plastic models and technical drawings are also displayed alongside digital content. A slide-show, projected onto large screens, presents the works in their entirety, while, for those interested, two PC workstations provide a more in depth look at the technical and design aspects of the projects, as well as Eni’s own competition guidelines.
The exhibition means that the construction of the new corporate headquarters becomes an opportunity for engagement with, and insight into, the latest trends in contemporary architecture and is a further endorsement of Eni’s commitment to cultural exchange.