Engineering and design firm Carlo Ratti Associati (CRA) has won an international competition for Reinventing Cities with the design of a new research centre under a 200m-long vineyard in Milan, Italy.

The Reinventing Cities competition is an international tender for urban and environmental regeneration, organised by the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group.

The new research centre is situated in close proximity to Milan’s Fondazione Prada and on a vacant, post-industrial lot in Via Serio site in south Milan.

Also called as the VITAE project, the new building will create a publicly accessible footpath, which will connect the street level to the rooftop, and will include a new office building and centre for conducting scientific research.

There will be a green park with a vine-covered pergola to create a promenade for the public. As the pedestrians ascend, they will pass through a series of terraces and greenhouses for urban farming and hydroponic cultivation.

The ground floor of VITAE will comprise a farm-to-table restaurant and high-tech offices on the above level. The higher levels of the building will consist of various facilities for the ICOM molecular and oncology research centre, including terraced guest rooms for its researchers.

The project seeks to follow a biophilic design process, bringing nature back to public and private life.

Once completed, the complex will be transformed into a new piazza, adding more than 5,000m² of public space to socialise.

CRA is developing the project in collaboration with Habitech and Fondazione Politecnico di Milano.

Construction of the VITAE building is expected to begin in the last quarter of this year.