It's official: the Porta Romana real-estate investment fund will be constructing the Olympic Village in the heart of Milan. This project promoted and managed by Coima, with Covivio, Prada Holding and the Coima ESG City Impact fund as investors, has been given the green light by Milan City Council ‒ following the application submitted in October 2021 ‒ to build the facilities that will accommodate the athletes at the 2026 Winter Olympics.
Contemporary to obtaining the building permit, the fund signed the contract to complete the works with a group of enterprises, comprising Impresa CEV, Grassi & Crespi, and Milani. Development of the Scalo railway yard area will be financed by Intesa Sanpaolo, which shall provide its backing to Coima, Covivio and Prada Holding during the works through a sustainability-linked loan, devised to support this urban regeneration project featuring high ESG standards.
Following initial land reclamation and excavation works, this permission to build takes the project to reach its third goal on the works timeline some four months early. This January sees the construction works for the edifices begin, while the excavation and bulkhead works will be completed in February. The whole Village is scheduled for completion by July 2025.
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The design by the architecture studio Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) stands as the first step in a large-scale urban regeneration project encompassing the entire zone. As in fact set out in the Parco Romana Masterplan, the Village will be located southwest of the Scalo railway yard and will ensure continuity with the neighborhood's existing identity and balance in general, also in view of its future conversion into student accommodation for approximately 1700 people, making it the largest complex in residential social housing in Italy.
Besides satisfying the nZEB (nearly Zero Energy Building) requirements, the design also utilizes materials selected for their sustainability characteristics (recyclable, reusable, eco-compatible). All the edifices will be LEED-certified, over 60% of their energy will be generated by the systems fitted to draw on renewable sources, including solar heat and photovoltaic systems, and rainwater will be collected and recycled, reducing the CO2 resulting from heating/cooling by 40%.
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Thanks to widespread services, squares and ground-floor spaces open to the public, green zones, and various business premises, Porta Romana will be fluid and vibrant, incorporating mixed-use residential areas, making it an innovative workshop for eco-friendly urban experimentation.
Great attention will be given to spaces offering public parks and play areas, which will account for about 50% of the Scalo district. While Outcomist provided the overall masterplan and Elizabeth Diller ‒ well-known for New York's Highline ‒ saw to the landscaping, Michel Desvigne designed these green spaces with the aim of creating places for use by students and the city's residents in harmony and in connection with other facilities in the Milan area.
Location: Milan, Italy
Architect: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill – SOM
Rendering by Skidmore Owings and Merrill - SOM, courtesy of COIMA