Sit together: Mapei is partnering the project being organised by Topotek 1 and MDT-Tex at the “Interni cross vision” exhibition-event

Tradition and innovation come together in a project tackling climate change at the University of Milan

April 25, 2024

Heat, cold, sunshine, wind: whatever the weather, Sit Together will always be a place for people to meet. The project, presented by Topotek 1 architecture studio and the MDT-Tex company with Mapei as a partner, aims to challenge the ecological crisis by proposing a new range of street furniture that adapts to the changing climate. The installation is part of the Interni Cross Vision exhibition event designed and coordinated by Interni at the FuoriSalone event in Milan from 15th-28th April.

The prototype, set in the main courtyard of the Università Statale degli Studi di Milano, is a combination of a classic European seat with a traditional Persian wind tower that redesigns the concept of socializing and inclusion. The result is a bench able to host guests at any time of day or year, thanks to both its darker warm side and lighter cool side. The tower provides shelter from the sun and, when the heat turns up, nebulizers placed on its top cool the air by directing it downwards creating a light breeze that flows through the holes placed over the base. In winter, on the other hand, the dark surface absorbs and retains the sun's heat.

Mapei products were also used for installing coverings over the wooden structure: Mapeguard UM 35 membrane; Ultrabond Eco PU 2K long-lasting adhesive with very low emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs); Ultracolor Plus colored grout, ideal for areas with heavy foot traffic and Mapesil LM sealant.

Martin Rein-Cano, landscape architect and founder of the Topotek 1 studio, stated: "Sit Together upholds the social significance and enhances the quality of our public spaces, encouraging people to come together in the face of changing weather conditions“.

Simona Giorgetta, architect and member of the Mapei board of directors, commented: "We are once again getting involved in the FuoriSalone, an event that is stimulating and thought-provoking for the world of architecture, design, and planning. Yet again this year, we have decided to support an innovative project that truly captures the spirit of the event by proposing a new way of experiencing open spaces in line with our century’s problems and changes".

The project is the result of a reflection on the new needs and social behavior imposed by climate change, and it embodies an architectural approach simultaneously looking to the past for inspiration, the present to embrace contemporary issues, and the future by proposing a new model of urban design.

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