Trieste 32, 20021 Baranzate (Milano), Lombardy, Italy, 2020.
Tèca is a thesis project developed during the 2020-2021 academic year at Politecnico di Milano University. The main topic of the project was the requalification of the building, a former kindergarten that had been, in a certain way, left to its own devices. As the theme of the project, we choose the two most popular drinks in the world (after water, and beer of course): tea and coffee. The whole project aim was to make the audience live some sort of a 360° experience through the history of the two drinks and the different countries’ traditions about coffee or tea.
We designed a logo that is linked, through its symbols, to the main shapes and elements of the space’s interior. Moreover, “Tèca” is a word game between the two Italian words “tè” and “caffè” (tea and coffee), but in Italian, it also means “shrine”, because for the city, Baranzate, multiculturalism is a very important topic, like a precious relic that needs to be protected.
We decided to make multiculturalism one of the main topics of the project. For the central square, for example, we choose to put some steps which rise made the whole space dynamic and usable in different ways: they could be used as steps, seats, tables. We implemented the whole thing adding some multicultural seats of different heights: from the lowest, like the Chinese and Japanese ones, to the highest.
One of the other important aspects of this project was the main central markets that held 12 stands, one for each country, and was characterized by some custom made roofs, called “the world’s roof” (I tetti del mondo) that wanted to refer to the different materials, shapes and tradition of every country. The country was Russia, Morocco, China, Italy, Ethiopia, Mexico, UK, Thailand, Japan, Turkey, Vietnam and India and they have been chosen for their traditions of tea and coffee drinking.
The project continued on the exterior of the building, where we decided to create three different areas: the first one was an event area that held a screen where movies could be projected; there were also some little rugs where people could sit to have yoga lessons or just chill. The second area was the “monoporzioni” one (literally “single portions”), where we decided to build some little wood houses to allow people to have a more silent, individual and peaceful place to spend their time. The third and last one was an adult playground area where we decided to put two different kinds of seesaws. Last but not least, we designed two greenhouses, attached to the main building, where it was possible to take some lessons and attend some workshops.