Merlata Bloom Milano is the largest Smart Urban Mall ever built within the borders of Milan. The Mall will rise up in the north-west of the city of fashion in one of the most developed, multipurpose areas of the city with its unique mix of residences, green areas, technology, business, commerce and services, where examples of national excellence from every sector have found their place: from innovation to research and from technology to retail. This area is also one of the city’s largest urban green spaces: the park, with its 30 hectares and 10 kilometres of cycle and pedestrian paths, is today a fully accessible place for engaging in sports and spending days in the open air. With a throughput of more than 125,000 people a day and a catchment area of 3,600,000 inhabitants less than 25 minutes away, the Mall is located within a broader concept of the city, on a human scale, interconnected and inconclusive, with a mission to welcome and connect communities of people who live, study, work and travel in the Milan area. The Mall is made up of 3 levels on an overall area of 70,000 square metres of Gross Leasable Area and has 150 shops featuring unusual and experiential brands, more than 17,000 square metres dedicated to entertainment, sport and culture, 2 padel courts and a latest-generation cinema, 20,000 square metres of Sky Garden on the roof of the Mall and 40 concept food outlets. The Food areas, in particular, have been designed as social accelerators: the spaces are familiar and comfortable, designed to encourage meetings and socialising and can be enjoyed totally independently from the shopping zone. Here it will be possible to give yourself the real pleasure of a break without the sensation of being inside a Mall. A catering experience equal to anything that can be found in the city centre in terms of quality, design and social enjoyment in a location that offers the utmost accessibility from the motorways or by underground and train, in complete harmony with the surrounding urban park. The project, created by the CallisonRTKL studio, is intended to be a tribute to sustainability and everyday life: it is in line with the highest standards of modern urban planning and combines the most advanced technological and digital instruments to favour responsible consumption and thereby exert a positive influence on the territory, both from the environmental and social points of view. The volumes of the new buildings have been designed to complement the surrounding environment and become a natural extension of it. Nature is the real Muse of the project and inspired the external shape as well as the choice of the materials and furnishings. The Merlata Bloom site was a highly complex and challenging series of unconnected plots. The innovative design introduced an elongated south-facing link between the Winter Garden and the bridge in order to maximize to the utmost the visual connection with the Park and provide a seamless connection between the plots. Its meticulous design combined the use of parametric and analytical tools and was achieved by our computational and sustainability experts working alongside leading academics in order to fully respond to the requirements of the climate, daylight and our customers. A number of prototype roofs were developed, tested and evaluated during the design process. A vast amount of timber – around 4,500 cubic metres – was deployed to create the external facade and the skylight of the linking structure, offsetting the equivalent of approximately eight years of carbon emissions. These are the design ideas that are contributing to its mission to be a place for living: a lively centre open to the flows of people and ideas. A centre in which shops represent the distinctive bone structure but not its only soul. These were the conceptual pillars on which Merlata Bloom Milano was based. A place for meeting and sharing, rethinking free time and opportunities for socialising, wellbeing and our relationship with nature.