Become an A&B portal user and receive giveaways!
Become an A&B portal user and receive giveaways!

Idea for Navigli Grande in Milan. Students of the Silesian University of Technology with distinction!

20 of July '22

Two student teams from the Faculty of Architecture of the Silesian University of Technology participated in the international competition Milan Navigli Canal Challenge of the Buildner platform and two received honorable mentions! We present the work Water Belt Of Milan by Daria Bal, Klaudia Elsner and Marta Sanigorska. Their design incorporates, among other things, green areas on the model of Krakow's Planty, the idea of a fifteen-minute city, numerous bicycle paths and car traffic-free zones.

The contestants were tasked with imagining the Milan of the future by designing a symbiotic relationship between the city and its historic Navigli canal system. Proposals were to take into account friendly design, mobility and the relationship between water and urban space. The competition challenge consisted of two tasks - participants had to create a design and strategy for the reopening of the entire eight-kilometer stretch of the Navigli and choose one of eight given locations of public spaces adjacent to the canal for detailed design.

Projekt Water Belt Of Milan, plan urbanistyczny  Projekt Water Belt Of Milan, masterplan

urban plan and masterplan

© Daria Bal, Klaudia Elsner, Marta Sanigórska

Silesian University of Technology projects appreciated!

The submitted projects were evaluated by a jury consisting of: James Biber (Biber Architects, USA), Grazia Comai (Townshend Landscape Architects, UK), Carola Enrich (Townshend Landscape Architects), Samista Jugwanth (Zutari, Africa), Silvana Ordinas (Peter Pichler Architecture, Italy), Lukas Rungger (noa* network of architecture), Sean Shen (ZJJZ Atelier, China), Rituparna Simlai (Studio Arth, USA). The jury awarded three main prizes, the BB Student Award, the Clients Favorite award and six honorable mentions.

Projekt Water Belt Of Milan, przestrzeń miejska

Water Belt Of Milan project, urban space

© Daria Bal, Klaudia Elsner, Marta Sanigórska

Among the honorable mentions were two projects by male and female students of the Faculty of Architecture at the Silesian University of Technology. One is the Canale della Vita project by Michal Galuszka and Agata Golesna. And the other is just Water Belt Of Milan by Daria Bal, Klaudia Elsner and Marta Sanigórska created under the direction of Dr. Szymon Opania.

Propozycja rozwiązań dla pieszych i rowerzystów

proposed solutions for pedestrians and cyclists

© Daria Bal, Klaudia Elsner, Marta Sanigórska

We took part in the competition because we want to share our architectural and urban planning ideas and test our skill level against the work of other participants. We try to work on the creative tasks that competitions set us and think outside the box to create more and more original designs. This is the first competition of international stature in which we decided to participate. The competition had a lot of design potential, because a re-created section of the Navigli canal could serve not only transportation purposes, but also create a piece of a linear ecological system, the authors say.

Zieleń otacza kanały

greenery surrounds the canals

© Daria Bal, Klaudia Elsner, Marta Sanigórska

Water Belt Of Milan

The students built their project on five assumptions, which are:

  • Green Belt - a ring consisting of green areas, wrapping around the old city, following the example of Krakow's Planty,
  • "UndergroundMilan" - an educational path about the course of Milan's ancient canals and their history,
  • car-free zone - total elimination of car traffic from the city center,
  • abicycle transportation network - numerous connections of existing bicycle paths and the addition of new ones, along the entire length of the course of the developed canal,
  • theidea of a fifteen-minute city - the creation of a network of pedestrian connections, so that for each resident of the project area, basic services are within fifteen minutes.
During the design process, we tried to take into account not only the existing condition, but also the interesting and worthwhile history of the Navigli canal. Navigli Grande is one of the five canals in Milan. Its history dates back to the Middle Ages. It connected the city to the Ticino River. Unfortunately, since the 1930s, the entire canal system began to be backfilled, and in 1969 the last part of the system was closed, the students explain.

Projekt Water Belt Of Milan, przekrój

A cross-section through one of the projected parts

© Daria Bal, Klaudia Elsner, Marta Sanigórska

new public space and aquariums

Taking history into account, the designers laid out a new canal route on an old historic watercourse. The new route is divided into two parts. In order to maintain the continuity of the old trail, flooded sections are mixed with uncovered sections. In the design process, the authors decided to turn some uncovered sections of the Navigli canal into streets with pedestrian and bicycle paths , and to extend the canal's flow through existing buildings. They used the gaps between buildings as a new kind of public space.

W przestrzeni miejskiej autorki umieściły specjalne akwaria

In the urban space, the authors placed special aquariums

© Daria Bal, Klaudia Elsner, Marta Sanigórska

As a characteristic element of small architecture, we provided space for aquariums along the entire route of the canal, which form a natural extension and continuity of the canal. The aquariums are not only a decorative or characterizing element of the space, but give habitat to local fish species. This is an extremely interesting attraction, as it allows the canal to directly "pour" into the strict urban fabric, thus forming an integral part of it," the authors say of the idea.

Widok na projektowaną strefę

The bike paths were made of mineral-resin paving

© Daria Bal, Klaudia Elsner, Marta Sanigórska

Throughout the concept, the students tried to use materials as natural and ecological as possible, so that their design would counteract the changing climate conditions. Numerous bicycle paths were designed using mineral-resin paving, which is a material that absorbs water very well.

Dobrawa Bies

The vote has already been cast