Rooftop Vineyard in Milan

As part of the city's regeneration, the new HQ for the molecular and oncology research centre will have it's own small rooftop vineyard.

It’s all part of project VITAE from architecture firm Carlo Ratti Associati (CRA), which took first place at the C40 Reinventing Cities Contest for their design that includes outdoor spaces, the ICOM centre, a farm-to-table restaurant, high-tech office space, and even greenhouses.


The spiral of terraced greenery, including the vineyard and hydroponic gardens, is what gave the project its name, a Latin word for both “life” and “vine.”

The grapevines are lined up on the side of the new building on a shallow ramp, and will act as the centerpiece of a footpath that starts on the street and reaches all the way up to the roof as part of an effort to link humans in cities back to nature, surrounded by 5,000 sq.m of green public spaces.


“We are talking about the natural tendency of our species to seek our happiness through immersion in nature. Thanks to new technologies, it is now possible to achieve this goal even in the heart of the city—this is particularly relevant in a building that is devoted to scientific research,” Saverio Panata, partner at CRA and project manager of VITAE, told Inhabitat.


The building is ecologically sound. As well as containing the double-helix-DNA-inspired walkway, 95 percent of its energy will come from renewable sources including geothermal and PV solar panels.


A 20 hectare (54 acre) disused railway yard, the Porta Romana, is one of the most important areas for future innovation and development in the city, and it's located just 250m from the VITAE building, placing it at the heart of the city’s regenerative efforts.

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