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CITYLIFE: A NEW NEIGHBOURHOOD IN MILAN DEDICATED TO MODERN DESIGN AND ARCHITECTURE IN A HISTORIC ENVIRONMENT

PROJECT & LOCATION

CityLife is the master plan project for Fiera Milano, the historic fairgrounds of Milan, designed by some of the most famous architects in the world: Arata Isozaki, Daniel Libeskind and Zaha Hadid. CityLife is one of the biggest redevelopment projects in Europe, covering a mind-bobbling area of 366,000sqm (or 61 acres) and involving residential, commercial, retail and public green spaces.

For 85 years this area situated north west of Parco Sempione not too far from the city centre was home to Fiera Milano, Italy’s largest fair and exhibition area. In 2005, with the opening of the new fairgrounds of Rho/Pero at the outskirts of Milan, plans for the regeneration of the area began. The project CityLife won the tender based on its high architectural and environmental quality.

And environment was a central part of the plans since the beginning. When the old pavilions were demolished between 2007 and 2008, for example, 2.5million cubic meter of rubble was generated. However, and quite remarkably, the greenery around them was protected and preserved.

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THE RESIDENCES
The residential side of the project was developed by Zaha Hadid and Daniel Libeskind, who created two areas of the highest quality, as it is in their best tradition.

Zaha Hadid’s buildings are located in an ideal position, opposite the new park and Piazzale Giulio Cesare, a historically prestigious residential area. The apartments are accessed through spacious lobby areas defined by large windows overlooking the green spaces around. Furnishings have been exclusively designed by Zaha Hadid and are (of course!) a perfect match to the interiors, providing a sense of harmony and showing the outmost attention to details typical of their designer. The residences in Via Senofonte, with their modern and fresh lines, add an element of dynamism and elegance to the whole area, outside spaces are little green oasis where to stop and relax, quietly, safe places from where to admire beautiful views of Milan. There are many different kinds of properties available, from one-bedroom flat to multi-floor penthouses, all sharing the highest quality and greatest ingeniousness. The penthouses feature wonderful roof terraces offering some of the most breath-taking views of the city.

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The buildings designed by Daniel Libeskind also face the park and the residential area of Piazza Amendola, and in the summer offer captivating views of the surrounding Alps mountain. Libeskind has designed sculpture-like buildings characterised by the use of alternating materials and a system of terraces combining outside areas of different dimensions. Thanks to their circular shape, the buildings emerge in harmony with the surrounding environment. The lobby areas of the buildings in Via Spinoza feature impressive double-height ceilings and glass windows once again overlooking the green outside, with furniture designed by Libeskind in collaboration with Cassina.  Each flat is unique and has been designed to maximise the surrounding landscape. The choice of accommodation is once more ample and varied: one, two or three bedrooms, penthouses over two floors, all with big windows that allow natural light in all year round.

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THE PARK
With a total surface of 170.000sqm, CityLife Park designed by ladscape architects Gustasfon Porter, is the largest green public space ever built in the centre of Milan. It will be the third park of the city, after Parco Sempione and Giardini di Porta Venezia. CityLife park will reflect the typical landscape of Lombardia, Milan’s region, with plains and mountains on different altitudes. Cycle and pedestrian paths, play and rest areas add to the project and provide Milan with a highly livable area.

BUSINESS & SHOPPING
In addition to residential buildings, CityLife also includes the Tre Torri (literally, the three towers), a business center of high architectural value that offers unique office spaces with impressive 360° view of Milan.

Il Dritto (literally, The Straight One), or Allianz Tower, designed by Arata Isozaki and Andrea Maffei, was inaugurated on 14 November 2015 and with its 207 meters in height, is the tallest building in Italy. It is built over 50 floors, organised in design modules of six floors, which are repeated one after the other. On 22 November 2015, upon completion of the building and following a Milanese tradition, a perfect copy of Madonnina (the VIrgin Mary statue placed on top of Duomo) has been placed on top of the tower’s roof, the tallest in Milan.

Torre Generali, also known as Lo Storto (The Twisted One) is the tower designed by Zaha Hadid. Still under construction, it will become the headquarters of Generali Insurance in 2018 once completed.

Finally, Il Curvo (The Curved One), Libeskind Tower, overlooks the square of CityLife Shopping District, with plenty of shops, bars, restaurants and services. Situated between Il Dritto and Lo Storto, the curved tower’s facade is made of sustainable, state of the art glass, that will reflect the public space below and vistas around.

The Shopping District is still under construction, but is set to become the new must for shopping in Milan, with a big square over two levels, a shopping gallery, a pavilion for music and shows, and restaurants and bars overlooking the park.

Overall, CityLife is an impressive master plan for the regeneration of an area in the centre of beautiful Milan. A great opportunity for the residents to enjoy a unique new neighbourhood, an innovative space offering endless possibilities and designed with the wellbeing of the residents and also the many tourists who flock to the city every year. All under the signs of great design and style that made Milan famous around the world.

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