News and events
Laying the first stone of the SUPSI university campus at Mendrisio-train station that will become a reality in 2019
10 April 2017
After 8 years of conception and design, the SUPSI university campus at Mendrisio-Stazione enters the construction phase. The first symbolic stone of the building that, from the academic year of 2019/2020, will host the Department of Environment, Construction and Design, was laid this morning.
The ceremony of laying the first stone of the future SUPSI university campus at Mendrisio took place this morning, in the yard area next to the station. An emotional and special moment, held in the presence of the municipal and cantonal authorities, members of the management and the SUPSI board, the team of designers, the press and numerous collaborators of the school.
The laying of the first stone - represented by a "pencil" in Ticino granite with a height of 2.80 meters, a symbol of the widening areas of the environment, of the construction and design that will be in the future site - was anticipated by the welcome greeting of the SUPSI General Director Franco Gervasoni and the official appearance of the President of the SUPSI Council, Alberto Petruzzella, the deputy mayor of the town of Mendrisio Samuel Maffi , the State councillor, Hon. Manuele Bertoli and, finally, the architect Andrea Bassi.
“An event, that today" – according to the SUPSI General Director Franco Gervasoni – "is made even more significant during this year of 2017, upon the 20th anniversary of the foundation of the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI). With the laying of this first stone is realised the creation of the great logistic project that will make SUPSI more and more attractive for students and staff during the next 20 years and which will lead to the creation also of a campus in Lugano-Viganello (together with USI) and Lugano-train station.”
“After eight years since the conception stage until today, along a sometimes difficult path” – began SUPSI President Alberto Petruzzella – “the creation stage of the campus of Mendrisio-Stazione commences, and starting from the academic year 2019/2020, will welcome the Department of Environment, Construction and Design (DACD) with about 250 employees, 650 students of basic training and over 700 students per year of continuing education.” To be moved from the current headquarters of Lugano-Trevano will be the five bachelor degree courses in Civil Engineering, Architecture, Visual Communication, Interior Design and Conservation, the Master in Conservation and Restoration and the five units dealing with continuous training, applied research and service performance: the Institute of Earth Sciences, the Institute of Applied Sustainability to the Built Environment, the Institute for Materials and Constructions, the Laboratory of Visual Culture and the Laboratory of Applied Microbiology.
“The proximity to the USI Academy of Architecture” - continues Alberto Petruzzella - “will allow a virtuous reciprocal relationship between teachers, researchers and students, strengthening the available training in the territory characterized by dual education with academic and professional models. Thanks to these collaborations, in Ticino it will be possible to create an existence in which the two formative models are not in opposition, but coexistent and in synergy, allowing a constant growth of educational institutions and an optimisation of resources.”
With the laying of the first stone comes into being one of the most important constructions in Mendrisio’s history, a reality made possible thanks to the relationship of trust existing between the municipality and SUPSI, with the support of the cantonal authority. For Samuel Maffi, deputy Mayor, “The SUPSI university campus strengthens the image of the town and represents another step towards the improvements of the railway station area; the station which, as shown by the examples of other Swiss cities, is increasingly the centre of urban and commercial development.” With the support of this project, Mendrisio will be able to participate directly in the consolidation and development of one of the three poles of excellence in the field of architecture, land management and design of the Swiss university system, while at the same time achieving a new opportunity for progress in the cultural, scientific and economic fields.
“The investment in the field of education and youth is an enrichment for the town of Mendrisio and throughout the Canton,” said the state councillor, Hon. Manuel Bertoli, who, in his speech, expressed happiness for the creation of the university site just on the premises in which – at the former RiRi factory it replaced – his grandfather worked until over 70 years of age.
The SUPSI campus of Mendrisio-Stazione is a source of pride also for architect Andrea Bassi, coordinator of the team of architects, and owner of the Geneva architecture firm Bassicarella Architects SA - who was winner of the international competition held between 2012 and 2013 with the Ascensus project - as well as being a graduate of the then higher technical school of Lugano-Trevano, later integrated into the SUPSI.
“The DACD is the institution that par excellence represents the culture of construction in our region, for which we are honoured and proud to have won the international architecture competition and be able to participate in the creation of this public facility.” Ascensus, chosen for its clear desire to belong to the region and to the regional framework - in harmony with the development visions of SUPSI and the town of Mendrisio - is characterized by the simple approach of insertion of this new and significant body within the town.
The new building - which proposes a complete prefabrication of the static and cladding structure, with a high level of finish - is energetically efficient with a very high sustainability factor, both from the constructive point of view, as well as the economic and social point of view. The proposed prefabrication, a symbol of flexibility and durability, will allow continuous adaptation to its varied future needs.
“We are also very happy” – concludes architect Bassi – “because at the present state of public procurement we will share the adventure of its implementation with Ticino entrepreneurs, with whom we will take the project from conception to reality.”
Between 2017 and 2018, the draft for the new campus is scheduled to be executed. The end of the work is planned for the end of July 2019, at the end of the finishing touches and its putting into operation.
In September 2019 the DACD can then open the doors of the new academic year at the Mendrisio headquarters, which, adjacent to the SBB station, will facilitate access by public transport. A small but significant contribution to the sustainability of our canton.