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The architecture
by Sauerbruch Hutton


In 2010, the Fondazione di Venezia held an international competition for the design of M9, inviting six prestigious European offices to produce a sustainable design so that M9 might become an example, the visible demonstration of a different design culture that respects the environment, is technologically advanced and addresses energy-consumption issues.

Designing a new culture

Sauerbruch Hutton is known for its sustainable designs. For M9, it proposed cutting-edge structural and M&E solutions to reduce energy requirements. Thanks to these options plus the idea of a building that would integrate with the surrounding urban design and the inspiration of designing new public spaces and accesses to make the area fully permeable, the Berlin office won the competition and secured the project. 

The energy of the future

M9 will be one of the first Italian districts to obtain LEED Gold (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification.

Space, form and colour

The main building features a compact form and the mix of solid and glazed surfaces that exalt its colours, employed as a means of alters the spatial perception. The new buildings flood with light thanks to polychrome ceramic exteriors referencing the colours of the surrounding context.

All the routes in the M9 area were conceived as a single area paved with trachyte, enabling passers-by and visitors to move in a seamless space.
The roof over the inner courtyard of the former 16th-century convent responds to the new public and retail function, turning the space into a rendezvous and shared space that also hosts major events.

“Capire le qualità del luogo e usarle in modo positivo per portarle nel progetto architettonico.”
Matthias Sauerbruch and Louisa Hutton - Studio Sauerbruch Hutton


polychrome ceramic tiles clad the fronts of the new architecture

13 colours on the fronts

colour-matched to the urban context

602 workers



solar energy produced annually by 276 photovoltaic panels


area served by the mass-activation system

63 geothermal probes

at a depth of 110 m, producing 100% of heating and 40% of cooling energy