From health emergency to the Future Suburbs: The Vita Pergola Module generates safe and functional urban spaces

The Vita Pergola Module was presented at the Milan Triennale on 20 October: a regenerating and versatile urban mesh that can assign new functions to spaces, fast. A Ri-Gymnasium project created with Manni Group technologies, which meets the needs of social distancing and health safety linked to the Covid-19 emergency.

In a delicate social/health situation like the one we are living in, the need for new functional and versatile spaces that guarantee high hygiene standards becomes urgent. The Covid-19 pandemic brought to the fore new challenging issues for designers: cities require safe spaces for work, study, leisure or essential services, while respecting physical distancing between people. The response to this need arrives from offsite construction, the only one able to combine functionality, aesthetics, cost control and extremely reduced worksite times.

A project Made in Italy

Manni Group has contributed to the creation of the Vita Pergola Module, a modular and versatile system conceived to quickly regenerate an urban space, either temporarily or permanently. The design, that is fully made in Italy, is by Luca Calselli and Dario Biello for Ri-Gymnasium: Manni Green Tech supplied the elements of the prefabricated steel structure, that can be completed thanks to Isopan’s ARK WALL curtain wall system.

The result is a functional box that can be furnished with the solutions of the series Bahlara by Faram and the Kastel chairs; it can be internally and externally coated with the Texturae fibreglass, which is light and can be sanitised; lastly, it is equipped with the technologies of Power Unit PU-Lab.

A module that, thanks to the prefabrication in the workshop that shortens delivery times and keeps costs under control, is supplied complete with all components and can be used immediately. Not to forget the ease of transport, both locally and internationally: a standard container (ISO 20 HC), in fact, has enough space for up to eight finished modular elements.

A single space for many needs

The strong point of the Vita Pergola Module is its great versatility: in fact, it adapts to any context, be it a densely populated city or an isolated location, and makes it possible to expand existing urban features by creating new standard spaces for multiple activities: work, trade, catering, cultural events, play or teaching areas. In fact, the module complies with the post-Covid-19 management decrees of the (It.) Ministry of Health, the (It.) Ministry of Labour and Social Policies.

From the pick-up point, open 24 hours, to the place of meeting a customer for those who work from home, the Vita Pergola Module is ideal for offering a safe, controlled and sanitised environment.

Any practical examples? For e-commerce and delivery services, for example, it can be equipped as a self-service point for the pick-up and shipment of packages, providing logistics support to apartment buildings and companies.

In the workplace context, it can create remote working spaces, or transform into temporary offices, meeting and break spaces near inhabited areas: in this case, sanitisation between one use and the next would be guaranteed by an ozonisation system. Access control can also be automated, through a dedicated app, with smartphone or contactless.

What’s more, thanks to the ease of installation, the Vita Pergola Module is a precious ally in monitoring and managing flows of people: if it is equipped with a thermal scanner, it can perform control functions at the entrance to public authorities, hospitals, offices, universities, stations, airports, parks, etc.

An emergency Covid Hospital

The system’s modularity means that each element can be used individually or combined with others, multiplying spaces and functions to meet specific needs.

The Vita Pergola Module offers a practical response to the delicate current situation: its most revolutionary aspect, in fact, is its versatility also in the medical field and the possibility to deal with the health emergency by quickly transforming into an ICU. The combination of more than one modules can act as additional health equipment for hospital centres, temporarily functioning as Covid Hospital whenever the epidemic peaks.

The presentation at the Milan Triennale

The first edition of BDA - Biennale for the Divulgation of Architecture, a Ri-Gymnasium initiative, dedicated to the

Foundation Cities, concluded on Tuesday 20 October. This edition celebrated the case of Colleferro Città Morandiana as a model of a city that was able to be reborn by activating a valorisation and protection process and placing the city at the heart of development.

The appointment was also the opportunity to announce the second edition of BDA, dedicated to the Future Suburbs and to the 15-Minute City, which will explore the possibility of sustainable urbanism and the search for a new policy that will overcome the concept of the suburbs, strengthening the trend for cities made for people and of residential and functional centres throughout the territory.

A new way of living that re-evaluates the suburbs, which, as far as the architect Stefano Boeri is concerned, are “a crucial topic in a historic period in which architecture and town planning think of the possibilities of life in the future and ways of working; rural and historic suburb areas can become a resource for an urban life project”.

The event, hosted by the Milan Triennale, concluded with the first official presentation of the Vital Pergola Module at international level: a functional, regenerating and versatile urban mesh designed by Ri-Gymnasium, conceived as a sustainable accelerator of public space regeneration projects, proving to be a fundamental element for Italian and European suburbs who are now beginning to be competitive, compared to the tendency to focus all activity in the densely populated urban nuclei.

The Vita Pergola Module will be the star of a series of actual touring events and of online conferences linked to the topic of the Future Suburbs - 15-Minute City, communicated by Rota&Jorfida with the contents produced by Filmedea and the artistic direction of Expositore.

The appointment of 20 October saw the participation of Stefano Boeri, Chairman of the Milan Triennale and recipient of the BDA Institutional Award; Dario Biello and Luca Calselli, founders of Ri-Gymnasium and curators of the Vita #Stradeaperte Module; Gian Paolo Manzella, Undersecretary of the (It.) Ministry of Economic Development; Giorgio Novello, Minister Plenipotentiary of Avio SpA; Gianmarco Senna, Chairman of the Committee for Production Activities of the Region of Lombardy; Francesco Fresa, architect and founder of the studio PIUARCH; Giorgio Tartaro, journalist; Alfonso Femia, architect and founder of Atelier(S) Alfonso Femia.