MEET Center by Carlo Ratti Associati and Italo Rota, Milan

MEET Digital Culture Center by Carlo Ratti Associati and Italo Rota: a new physical space in a digital world


CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati and Italo Rota designed the MEET Digital Culture Center, the new house of the International Center for Digital Culture. Recently inaugurated, MEET is located in Milan, in a historical building in the Porta Venezia district.


The MEET Digital Culture Center is hosted in a historical building from the early 20th century, on the corner of piazza Oberdan and viale Vittorio Veneto. Renovated for the first time by Gae Aulenti in the late ’90s, this building hosted different cultural initiatives. In the last two years, the architects of Carlo Ratti Associati and Italo Rota made plans for further renovation. Created with the support of Fondazione Cariplo, MEET hosts an auditorium, a movie theater run in collaboration with the longstanding Cineteca Italiana, spaces dedicated to exhibitions, conferences and performances, a café and an immersive hall for digital installations.


The MEET Digital Culture Center extends over 1,500 sqm across three levels. The core of the project is represented by a wide vertical public space revolving around a series of offset flights of stairs, connecting several asymmetrical mezzanines.

This 15 m high “habitable staircase” can turn from theater to workspace to meeting area, and serves as the focal point for all the center’s daily activities and events. The space is completed by Artemide lighting design and a multimedia projection system.


MEET: the physical spaces for unexpected encounters

With the MEET Digital Culture Center, Carlo Ratti Associati wants to analyze the role of physical space in a digitized world. Carlo Ratti says that architecture should favor what is missing from the digital dimension: the possibility of generating casual encounters between people. The project of the MEET pursues this goal through a mixture of functions. By hosting different functions in different spaces at the same time, it encourages different people to meet and facilitates the circulation of new ideas.

“What is the role of physical space in a digital world? Today, we continue to live and work in pandemic-induced isolation where almost anything can be done online. At this time, it is vital to use architecture to produce serendipitous moments and help foster new connections – precisely those that rarely happen on the web,” says Carlo Ratti, founding partner of CRA-CARLO RATTI ASSOCIATI with offices in Turin and New York and professor of Urban Technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). [Txt: Arianna Callocchia Ph: Michele Nastasi]

Discover Archispritz: the architecture webinars organized by DDN

On January 27, at 6:30 pm, Archispritz will host Carlo Ratti. Click here to register and participate

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