International Competition – The Nuova Porta di Milano a Malpensa
Milano – Italy – 2009

In recent years, the romance of travel has been replaced by inconvenience. Yet flying is still the most transcendental of all modes of transportation.

The anticipation of departure and the excitement of arrival is part and parcel of airline travel. Who can forget their first flight and the sense of wonderment when embarking for a new destination with a different temperature, different humidity, different plant-life, different languages and culture? The very nature of flight brings us into a unique relationship with our environment and with specific locations as well as with the natural phenomena of the earths atmosphere. Moving from place to place, an ‘other space’ or ‘heterotopia’ which connects the place of departure and the place of arrival thus becomes an unnatural environment, unique in its role of non-place. This new ‘non-place’, this last link between one specific place and another, is a combination of real and imagined spaces, and possesses the the rare role of both tying us to and releasing us from the world. The airport thus functions as a node between infinite and real places, allowing for endless links and projectiles, and is the last tie to the ground as we prepare to float to another destination. This project takes these issues to heart, and celebrates this unique role of the airport and it’s relationship to location, nature, weather, and weightlessness.

Our proposal for the Nuova Porta di Milano, located in Milano’s Malpensa Airport, is a project which accepts and celebrates the ambiguity and the magic of flight and the transcendental nature of airports. In it’s role as a ‘gateway’, this proposal emphasizes the fact that an airport is an important link in the global web of differences.