Harmonious spaces to live, work and research

Vitae is a sustainable and resilient urban regeneration project by Covivio, which was the winner of C40’s international competition “Reinventing Cities” held in May 2019. The revolutionary building is located in Via Serio, Milan, as part of the Symbiosis business complex (also by Covivio), in the area of the former Porta Romana rail yard and a short walk away from Fondazione Prada.

Vitae’s multifunctional nature reflects a social and spatial model inspired by the harmony between nature and science, and public and private life typical of Carthusian Charterhouses of the past—an example is the Abbey of Chiaravalle, not far from Via Serio.

Vibrant & open lobby

Vibrant & open lobby

Spaces for social interaction

Spaces for social interaction

Innovative workplace, organic workflow

Innovative workplace, organic workflow
A unique mix of offices, laboratories, guest quarters, urban gardens and public spaces

On about 2 and a half acres of land, Vitae houses innovative offices, molecular and oncological research labs, guest quarters for IFOM researchers, urban gardens, and a public square. From the square, a 200 m long green walkway covered by a grapevine pergola winds its way to the top of the building. This urban vineyard adds a further meaning to the name of the project, which is centred on the value of life and the symbology of the grapevine, a hardy plant that adapts to the most challenging environments.

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The Vitae district is part of the area selected for the European Sharing Cities programme and part of the Horizon 2020 Agenda, which will fund the transformation of the area into a “smart” district to respond to the city’s key environmental challenges.

Collective intelligence

An example of mutually beneficial participatory design

Vitae considers the involvement of local actors as a crucial aspect of architectural development for a mutually beneficial, participatory process of co-design. C40’s “Reinventing Cities” competition for via Serio led to a fruitful strategic collaboration between Covivio and Vitae partners, including listed companies, professionals, individuals, private organizations, and civil society.

Winner of


Leader in Sustainability and Innovation

The Vitae project represents a strategic synthesis of the ten challenges set by Reinventing Cities and involves a team of trailblazers in the fields of sustainability and innovation, spearheaded by COVIVIO (team leader), CARLO RATTI ASSOCIATI (design and innovation firm) and HABITECH (environmental expert). Fondazione Politecnico di Milano coordinates all stakeholders alongside Covivio.

Owner & Developer

Covivio logo

Innovation & Designer

Carlo Ratti logo

Environmental Expert

Habitech logo

A landmark development project in Milan.

Vitae operates in synergy with the Symbiosis business district, south of the Porta Romana. Together, they introduce a previously unimaginable model of the future.

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