Carlo Ratti, a recognized Italian mastermind known for his innovative, technology-infused designs. Made by training, Ratti became a professor at MIT and the founding partner of Carlo Ratti Associates (CRA). Carlo Ratti Associates globally grew and developed as a studio, only to become an internationally recognized practice, originated in Turin, Italy and expanded to London and New York. CRA offers a range of briefs extending from architectural, interior work to artwork; all of which highlight the correlation between the natural and the manmade surrounding environment that urbanizes the space.
Here are 15 of Carlo Ratti’s masterpieces :
1. Sunny Inside
The “Sunny Side” brief is located in an pharmaceutical Italian firm in Milan, where CRA experimented in producing such an innovative design. One of the main features of this project is the luminosity and the hydroponic greens. The illumination system that was implemented in the pods, allows distributed sunlight to get into the building, enriching the experience by the desks, blending the sensation of being inside by the desks and the outside surrounding the built environment.
2. The Green and the Gray
Located in Toronto, this project is designed to be interactive. The Green and the Gray is an innovative exhibition with technology infusion, it showcased a wide range of projects and alluring artifacts. The CRA team managed to design an open floor plan and space showing a relationship between nature and urban development. Such a project requires careful care in setting the right lighting system and the climate, all of which highlight the importance of technology and sustainability for advanced establishments.
3. Mutti Factory
This project was assigned after the CRA’s team won a global competition to design the masterplan and a headquarters for one of the world’s famous tomato brands. The mutti factory addresses the relationship of the red factory exterior with the adjoining landscape. Built with a range of raw materials and covered with a semi-visible 7 meter-high glass made of the branding jars, making it an iconic tourist destination.
4. Capita Spring
Alongside with another architectural practice, CRA designed one of the tallest buildings in Singapore. Capita Spring is a modern designed tower with hi-tech infusion and sustainable solutions: Extending from the materials: a steel structure with a glass-wrapped exterior making it easy to blend with Singapore’s skyline, to the green spaces and rooftops making a public interaction and accessibility to this office building. Creating a landmark to the country as it shows the relationship between the greenery and urbanization in Singapore.
5. Vitae Milan
After winning a competition of “Reinventing Cities” in Milan, CRA designed Vitae Milan. The project shows many biophilic design concepts implemented, making it an important feature of this 200- meter tower. The urban approach of the design and the vineyards creates an accessible path to the public to the green rooftop. With many sustainable solutions, the front façade of the building suggests connectivity with the pedestrian, having a higher glass to concrete ratio, decreasing the carbon footprint of the design.
6. Science for Citizens
Based upon CRA’s masterplan of a new campus for one of the largest universities based in Milan. A traditional approach of the design was considered using red bricks, the ground floor, however, is designed to be inviting by having large floor-to-ceiling glass windows giving a more spacious sense. Green rooftops and courtyards were implemented to make the university more lively with a sustainable approach.
7. Milan’s Science and Innovation Park
After winning an international competition for a master plan, CRA managed to design a theme park dedicated to science, technology and innovations in a 10 million sq site plan. The design offers research centers, offices, residences, different types of spaces and agriculture. Creating an advanced utopian city within Milan, with hi-tech implementations and sustainable solutions.
8. Pankhasari Retreat
Located in the West of Bengal, this project was designed to encourage sustainable tourism in the country. The retreat includes various facilities that range from residential, business to sports, and farming. The project is built with interpretations of the existing vernacular architecture, hence the usage of local raw materials like teak, sissoo and stones in the making of the retreat. Such considerations are important considering the ever-changing weather conditions, results having the architecture of the retreat to focus on the thermal, and cooling conditions.
9. Cloud Cast
Cloud Cast is an invention created by CRA’s team, designed to be mounted on a ceiling to trace moving elements. Designed for the UAE, to generate cloud mists whilst being energy efficient, the process of evaporative cooling has been evident and used in the Arabian Gulf with traditional systems, whereas the cloud cast’s sleek modern design allows controlling of large spaces, through temperature and infrastructure.
10. The Greenery
This project is a renovated farmhouse, with biophilic design elements. Carlo Ratti’s team managed to design around a 10 m long plant growing in the center of the main living space. Although it is no treehouse, it has some features of the living in-out sensation. The rooms were designed to be wrapped around the tree, creating 3 rooms above the foyer level, and 3 below it all of which are dedicated to accommodating different Zen activities.
11. The Circular Garden
This project is an architectural pavilion structure that is made of mushroom roots. Grown from the soil over 2 months, CRA’s design team composed a pattern of arches made of multiple kilo-meter long fungi. The name that was given to this sustainable structure symbolizes its growth and circular return to nature.
12. Caserma Lamarmora
In this project, the CRA team manages to redesign and renovate a military complex that existed 2 centuries ago in Turin, Italy. The architectural style shows the inspiration of the barracks ‘ modular structure, imposing a different way to accommodate the space from what it was ages ago. After the renovation, the 100 by 60 m long public square as an open space for future events to take place will make it a landmark and iconize the building considering its history.
13. Agnelli Foundation HQ
For this project, the CRA team redesigned the Agnelli Foundation HQ. The redesigning process included developing the thermal, electrical and cooling systems in the building, transforming it to detect motion. The infusion of technology into the building creates a sustainable approach and shapes the workplace.
14. Currie Park
This project is one of the largest, the CRA team designed the masterplan for the Currie Park. Located by West Palm Beach, the complex incorporates residential, leisure and retailing facilities surrounded by the beautiful scenery of the greenery, the waterfront and pool. All designed to adapt to the surrounding, with a modern intake into the design losing the identity of the country.
Designed as a solution to the Covid-19 pandemic, the CRA took the chance to produce a prototype of an intensive care unit. Created from shipping containers and designed to control the airflow, considering the needs of such care units. It creates a mobile space of temporary hospitals considering the emergency and needs after the pandemic. The simple container design was the best way to create mobile pods in a short period.