ATM’s ambitious transition towards a fully electric bus fleet by 2030 will greatly contribute towards its commitment of offering an increasingly integrated, sustainable and customer-friendly public transport service.
To support ATM in this mission, and as part of an open design competition, One Works designed a new home for 100 electric buses, serving as an inspiring beacon of green mobility and social connectivity.
The new depot we propose challenges the conventional identity of a bus depot to strengthen its relevance in the community. ‘Infrastructure’ in the traditional sense is humanised through careful considerations about materiality, landscape, connectivity and programme. Within the depot, functional efficiency and sustainable building operations are coupled with providing a high-quality working environment to bring out the best in ATM staff.
Though the depot primarily serves the needs of parking and servicing electric buses, the building plays a larger role in the community as a distinctive new social/recreational ground. Deriving its name from the large running track that encircles the depot’s roof, Il Circuito reflects ATM’s commitment to a more sustainable and connected Milan.
The rooftop is programmed with an array of sports fields, offers people in the neighbourhood of all ages and backgrounds a place to relax and engage in wellness and fitness. The types of fields on the roof have been carefully selected to enrich the offer of sports and recreational opportunities in the neighbourhood, promoting inclusivity to an increasingly diverse population.
Able to accommodate numerous configurations of sports fields, the large open space of the roof can also be used for markets, festivals and concerts – extending the flexibility of the space. The grounds surrounding the depot are designed as an interconnected network of park spaces, promoting connectivity via walking and cycling within the district.
Timber has been used as the primary structure and cladding material of the depot to convey a sense of warmth, comfort and sustainability. Soft curved edges of the roof reduce its apparent mass, giving levity to the structure as it appears to float amongst the trees along Viale Toscana, in dialogue with the new Bocconi campus across the street. Recalling a sense of Milan’s vernacular service stations of the 1950s, the resulting identity is both ‘grand yet gentle’ – bold and distinct yet harmonised with context and community.
Inside the main hall at grade, the timber structure graciously covers a vast service space, with daylighting and views of the surrounding trees along the perimeter. Auto-dimming light halos adjust their intensity in real-time in response to outdoor light quality, reducing energy consumption and eye strain. In the basement levels, daylight and view is achieved where possible by the slight changes in grade across the site, improving indoor environmental quality and visual connection to the outdoors.
The result is an exemplary new depot that reinforces the founding values of the ATM SpA group and welcomes the engagement of citizens in the surrounding communities – elevating the role infrastructure plays in the development of a more sustainable and inclusive Milan.