Urban renewal starts from Dropcity, the new space for design professionals

On the occasion of Milan Design Week, Center for Architecture and Design Dropcity presents a preview of the spaces that identify it as a place of gathering and debate on architecture and design. Built inside the Connected Warehouses at Central Station, its official opening is scheduled for spring 2024.

Dropcity’s rich exhibition offerings

Dropcity was born in 2018 based on an architect’s idea Andrea Caputo, developed and co-managed by the real estate company Nhood. With an investment of 16 million euros, it adds a contribution to the urban renewal of the city of Milan.

“There are about 12,000 architects in Milan, and the 25 schools of architecture and design train 3,500 graduates a year. So I began the search for a space that could put these conditions in a virtuous way, and I met the warehouses connected via Sammartini: an urban vacuum just ten minutes from Porta Nuova, almost forgotten and almost unknown to today’s young people, with the potential to become a unique meeting place to cultivate the debate dedicated to the project’s disciplines, ”says Caputo.

“How Dropcity was born: an ecosystem of prototyping, robotic technology and state-of-the-art 3D printing laboratories, with related features such as traditional carpentry, machining, cutting and milling, about 400 workstations complete with screens and a lot of culture as a proposal that comes from below, ”he continues.

The center defines a new urban model in Europe with over 10,000 square meters, spread over 28 tunnels, which will house exhibition galleries, production studios, carpentry, robotics and advanced prototyping workshops. There will also be an area of ​​important square meters dedicated to research, teaching and office space for professionals in the sector. The education is completed by a materials library and a public library, aimed at architecture and design themes.

From June 7 to 19, workshops, talks, book presentations and the public Dropcity Mockups program will be activated. The latter includes a series of daily interventions curated by Angela Rui with designer Anna Paola, inviting visitors to imagine what kind of cultural prototype the new center will embody. Numerous installations are planned, including Fosbury Architecture, presented by Quodlibet Edizioni, KoozArch (Milan, London), Bureau Spectacular (Los Angeles), HPO (Ferrara), Supervoid (Rome) and Motto (Berlin).

An opportunity to reflect

“The Dropcity project is paradigmatic for our approach to real estate, which for us translates into a private individual’s ambition to contribute to the quality of life and attractiveness of the area in which it operates. We are investing 16 million euros and in the next few years we will act as a developer and future co-leaders of an inclusive space that will open up new professional opportunities “, he declares Marco BalducciCEO of Nhood Italy.

“As always, we will be guided by the criteria of sustainability and by the driving force of culture, which we believe is a natural accelerator for civilization and an identity tool for people living in urban spaces, in ways that are constantly evolving,” he adds.

The initiative not only refers to an urban center dedicated to architecture and design, but provides the opportunity for reflect on the social model, work and culture that Dropcity represents, especially in the Italian context and in inclusion in the city of Milan. In this way, current issues related to the profession and education, social and ecological practices, and the week itself will be mock-up by the spirit and creative climate that will characterize Dropcity.

With this program, the center thus aims to reach students and young architects in Milan during Design Week, to promote spaces for exchange, solidarity and community to meet the challenges that await designers and institutions operating in architecture and design.

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