The Campus Humanitas University: a new hub for excellence and sustainability

The new Campus Humanitas University International Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, Nursing and Physiotherapy at the Humanitas Research Hospital has been presented. The complex has been designed by the studio FTA - Filippo Taidelli Architetto. It includes 3 new buildings on about 25 thousand square meters and green: it is innovative in its educational content and environmental sustainability, which are the result of an investment of around 100 million euros.

The complex has been designed to host 1,200 students from 31 countries, professors, researchers, a 2,000 square-meter Simulation Lab (one of the technological and big in Europe), high-tech classrooms, digital library and residences. It is just a short walk from the research laboratories directed by the Professor Mantovani and the hospital, which is an integral part of the campus, meant as place of teaching for future doctors, nurses and physiotherapists.

The simple and essential architecture favors the functionality and marks the boundaries between the didactic center, the research pole and the multifunctional hub: these are positioned in a sort of “knowledge triangle”, which starts from the clinical aspect and ends up through the education in the laboratory that is at the base of the Humanitas mission.

The Campus consists of a composition of volumes with warm colors, arranged around a green square and placed in a large pedestrian park, following the style of the Anglo-Saxon campuses. Located in Pieve Emanuele, south of Milan – between the industrial warehouses and the Parco Agricolo Sud – the recent private university, where medicine is taught in English, is adjacent to the Humanitas Research Hospital of Rozzano.

A university residence of 8 thousand square meters, with 240 beds, will be built next to the new campus and opened in the next summer. It will be designed by the Studio FTA Filippo Taidelli – Architetto too, for students and researchers.

The project consists of three volumes: the multifunctional building with canteen, library and common spaces; the teaching pole with classrooms, offices and the Simulation Center; the research laboratories placed around an open square on a green internal court. The large windows make the space fluid: it is characterized by double and triple heights and large terraces, which can be used as outdoor classrooms.


The volumetric composition of the Campus is based on the court type of the farmstead and the quiet character of its volumes harmoniously gathered around the farmyard; the overlapping volumes, which give dynamism to the complex, exalt this concept. The new court is the “square” that is lived by the students and houses the three glazed entrances of the buildings.

Moreover, the project involves a future enlargement of the green of the Parco Agricolo Sud among the new buildings, by means of different systems of native species, and the increasing and enhancing of the spontaneous green as connective tissue for the campus and the entire hospital complex. The formal principle underlying the project is based on a composition of polychrome volumes decomposed in three different coatings, with warm and material tones that exalt the dynamic articulation of the complex. It thus generates a proportionate relationship, people-friendly with the square, and makes the facade more vibrant depending on the light.

The opaque facades are marked by windows with white asymmetrical openings, and others with large entrance.

The effect created by the volumes inside the building is given by the creation of polychrome masses arranged on various levels that warms and marks the different rooms of the university, just like an elegant plaster. This colored sound-absorbing coating, which is interrupted only in the bends that mark the entrances to the classrooms, performs the fundamental function of guaranteeing the acoustic insulation of open and highly articulated spaces. In the described spaces, there is a uniform floor with neutral shades that resembles the natural stone that continues like an endless carpet even on the external walkways of the building.


The campus is not only green in its landscape, but it is entirely focused on environmental issues: the result is a significant decrease in energy consumption and an increase in comfort for users. The application of these climatic strategies – besides the active systems such as groundwater heat pumps, heating with low temperature radiant panels and the installation of photovoltaic panels on the roof – contributed to the achievement of the energy class CENED A3.

The orientation of the buildings and their shape with volumes degrading towards the south, strongly contribute to increase summer solar supply and reduce winter dispersion of the building envelope, while the internal glazed courtyards guarantee the maximum contribution of natural light and continuity between interiors and exteriors, limiting the use of electricity for lighting.