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Retail and office complex


Retail and office complex
By Francesco Pagliari -

The complex redevelopment and revitalisation masterplan for Milan’s Porta Nuova district is nearing completion. For many years a rundown area due to industry moving out and the nearby railway station being repositioned further away, it is now being transformed into an upbeat, upmarket business district with many well-known Italian and non-Italian architectural practices involved in the task.
Its position is strategic between the major Central and Garibaldi railway stations, close to the headquarters of the Lombardy Regional authorities and only a short distance from Milan’s historic centre. The new urban landscape, developed by Hines Italia, will include landmark buildings like César Pelli’s high-rise complex, upmarket residential buildings, the new headquarters of many major companies and retail outlets. Porta Nuova will be the spanking new affluent district of Milan.
Equally significant is the provision of ample public spaces: more than 160,000 sq m of gardens, large squares, pedestrian and cycle paths, and a large urban park. A key enhancement factor is the district’s accessibility: high-speed domestic and international rail links and a new underground line currently under construction. 

Part of Milan’s huge Porta Nuova urban renewal masterplan, this project seeks to make its mark on the landscape yet at the same time resonate with both the existing urban fabric and the premium development to which it belongs. Whether in accordance or in contrast with its neighbours, the building’s form and size declare it is obviously part of this long-term urban revitalisation programme. The same height as the pre-existing urban fabric, it comprises a high ground level plinth, to be occupied by retail activities, topped by five storeys for offices, and two below-grade levels for plant and services. Its long low sweep gives it a decidedly contemporary aspect in keeping with the new urbanscape yet appropriately...

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