Cover Picture © Credits to Google maps
Cover Picture © Credits to Google maps

MAST foundation in Bologna, an innovative cultural hub

2 minutes to read
The latest project of Labics, Factory of Arts, Experimentation, and Technology was opened in Bologna on 4th of October

 This news headline popped up in 2013 and was a special treat for architecture fanatics. The studio Labics is a Rome based studio, famous for their project “City of Sun,” which was the winning project of a competition held by the Municipality of Rome in 2007. It’s an intervention of urban regeneration. Their next “big thing” is the building of the Mast Foundation in Bologna. Just like the building of  Fondazione Prada in Milan, this is an attention-grabbing architectural piece. 

The foundation MAST is a cultural and philanthropic hub that concentrates on art, technology, and innovation. They are focused on the new generation, and they support an expansion of creativity and entrepreneurship. This foundation is a link between the Company and the Community. They assert that they support projects that leverage an identity, generate new ideas, and create new relationships. Hence, MAST stands for Manifattura di Arti, Sperimentazione e Tecnologia. (Manufacture of Arts, Experimentation, and Technology). 

Picture © Credits to Google maps
Picture © Credits to Google maps

The objects today result from open competition. The brief of the contest was that the designers should develop a spatial solution that would contain nursery, canteen, academy, staff club, wellness and training center, an auditorium, and a company museum. The architectural team aimed at bringing together different functions in a single complex and at giving the building greater strength and identity. The result is a micro-city dedicated to arts, innovation, and technology appearing as a compact volume from the outside. On the ground floor, there is a company canteen, an exhibition hall, service rooms, and a gym. The first floor is an exhibition space and a cafeteria, and the top floor is for classrooms, a foyer and an auditorium (capacity of 400 people). 

A continuous path runs through the entire building and links all the activities, connecting them with the city. This innovation is turning the complex into a concept open for the community.

The building’s diagram is structured to encourage interaction between users as they move between the various functions within, creating a lively and dynamic environment and encouraging new relationships and connections between the corporate organization and its local community. 

The exterior appearance of the building is calm and smooth, and the previously mentioned movement from one through two pedestrian ramps leads to the main entrance. Many in-between spaces add to the dynamic and the connection of this object to the surrounding. 

The overall layout seems like it is a representation of the building’s ambitious program, and its will is to reach beyond the Company comfort zone and to open its cultural activities at the city scale.


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The author

Zlata Golaboska

Zlata Golaboska

I am Zlata and I am an architect living in the Balkans. I am passionate about cities, how people influence architecture and vice versa, and how places change our lives.

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