Day 276/365 of Steel – Massimiliano Fuksas

Massimiliano Fuksas (born January 9, 1944) is an Italian architect. He is the head of Studio Fuksas in partnership with his wife, Doriana Mandrelli Fuksas,with offices in Rome, Paris and Shenzhen. At the beginning of the 1960s, he worked for Giorgio de Chirico in Rome.

After he left Italy, he worked for a period for Archigram in London, for Henning Larsen and for Jørn Utzon in Copenhagen. He received his degree in architecture from the La Sapienza University in 1969 in Rome.

Shenzhen Bao'an International Airport, China
Fig 1: Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport, China

Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport’s new Terminal 3, which his firm designed and built 2008-2013, is an outstanding example for the use of parametric design and production technologies in a large scale building.

Fiera Milano

In an effort to attract large-scale world-class conventions and exhibitions, the city of Milan embarked on an ambitious plan to build a $700 million trade show complex. What would emerge from the reclaimed brownfields was a Fiera that covers 345.000m² and stretches nearly 2 kilometers.

Milan Trade Center
Fig 2: Milan Trade Center
Photo: © Archivio Fuksas

Fuksas dealt with the expansiveness of the 8 separate structures by orienting them inwards towards the central spine covered with a glass canopy that functions akin to that of a central street. 

While the canopy itself is freestanding, it floats over portions of the roofs of the adjacent rectilinear buildings and dramatically swoops down to the ground level in parabolic vortex fashion, defying the traditional archetypal conception of a canopy.

Fig 3: Milan Trade Center
Photo: © Studio Fuksas

Structure consists of tree-like columns of steel circular profile HSS (with two inner branches accommodating roof drainage) that were prefabricated off site.

Perhaps one of the most dramatic points within the complex lies within the Service Center which houses the main entrance hall. Visual spectacle greets the pedestrian by means of the glazed canopy touching down to grade and immediately shooting up 121 feet into a conical mountain.

Milan Trade Center
Fig 4: Milan Trade Center
Photo: © Ramon Prat

About the Author:

Bruno Dursin – Managing Director at Believe in Steel. Bruno has more than 30 years of experience in promoting steel & steel solutions. His clients benefit from his extensive network within the building industry.

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