Infrastructure | Museums

Bridge access to the Triennale Design Museum

Milan | Italy


La Triennale Foundation of Milan
Architectural design
aMDL Circle
2003- 2007
Services Provided
Structure design | Construction management
Infrastructure | Museums
length 14 m, width 162 cm, height 70 cm
Construction technique
lamellar bamboo

Design, experimentation and innovation

The Triennale Design Museum is located in the Palazzo dell'Arte in Milan, a building designed by Muzio in 1933. Restored to a design by Michele De Lucchi, it was inaugurated in 2007. Also built as part of the museum is the famous bamboo, steel and glass bridge connecting the atrium and the entrance. Unique in its kind, it is made of experimental laminated timber and was tested in the laboratories of the University of Venice.

The Milan Triennale houses the Design Museum, which preserves, illustrates and enhances Italian design. To connect two separate buildings as Muzio had designed them, Arch. Michele De Lucchi designed the bamboo walkway. It is the first example of the use of bamboo with glued slats for structural use.

Italian Design on display

The Milan Triennale is based in the Palazzo dell'Arte, a building designed by Giovanni Muzio in 1933. An internationally renowned cultural institution, it organizes exhibitions, conferences and events in art, design, architecture, fashion, cinema, communication and society.
A portion of the Palazzo was converted to the permanent home of the Italian Design Museum. Work began in 2004 with the construction of the Library, continued with the restoration of the spaces designated for the Museum, and ended in 2007 with the opening of the Triennale Design Museum to the public.

The architectural design for the renovation of the palace and the layout of the Museum is by Michele De Lucchi, who also designed the famous bridge that gives access to it and connects its entrance to the first-floor atrium, bypassing the central staircase.

A unique prototype

The connecting walkway is a prototype, the only one of its kind ever made, consisting of a composition of bamboo wood strips, held together by a glue produced exclusively for this purpose. Tests of the composite's strength were conducted in the laboratories of the University of Venice, which gave willingness to experiment with such uncodified materials and technologies.

It is an isostatic beam in simple support, with a monolithic appearance, built with planks of bamboo batten wood glued together using glulam technology. The final machining in the two directions, longitudinal and transverse, was performed with numerically controlled milling cutters.

It connects the museum entrance to the first-floor atrium for a total length of 14 meters, overcoming a height difference of 54 centimeters. The bridge is 162 cm wide and only 67 cm high in its structural section.

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