the world's most visited architecture website

In Progress: CityLife Milano / Zaha Hadid Architects

CityLife Milano is an ambitious commercial and residential development on Milan's historic former trade fair grounds: the Fiera Milano. On the surface, over half of CityLife Milano will be covered with upwards of 168,000 square meters of landscaped parkland dedicated to pedestrians and bicycles. This lush, pedestrianized space will be centered around a grand new piazza - 'piazza delle tre torri' - shaped by a trio of towers and surrounded by a cluster of residences, all designed by three world-renowned architects. As previously mentioned, Arata Isozaki and Andrea Maffei has contributed the Isozaki Tower, which is planned to become the tallest skyscraper in Italy at 202 meters and built alongside the curved, 150 meter Libeskind Tower. To complete the triad, Zaha Hadid has designed a twisting, glazed tower, which will rise 170 meters into the skyline.

More on the Hadid Tower and surrounding development after the break...

Born of the desire to move away from the concept of towers being 'technocratic engineering solutions' and embrace a strategy with more architectural input, Zaha Hadid's tower for CityLife Milan intends to investigate the dynamism and movement created by its position as the gateway to the Fiera Milano

Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects
Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects

The structure will incorporate both office and retail space, whose commercial front will activate the piazza at the base of the tower. Rising upwards, the tower twists and its floor plates incrementally rotate around a central core so that its summit aligns with the geometry of the Hadid-designed CityLife housing development across the river.

© Zaha Hadid Architects, Courtesy of CityLife
© Zaha Hadid Architects, Courtesy of CityLife

Lateral loads will be resisted by the central core and vertical loads dealt with by a radial array of columns. The double leaf facade utilizes a combination of sun-deflecting louvers and ventilation registers to maintain a comfortable environment internally.

Courtesy of CityLife
Courtesy of CityLife

The Hadid-designed CityLife housing will be one of two residential developments on site, the other being a Libeskind creation. The Hadid residences consist of seven linear buildings wrapping around a courtyard, creating a sinuous urban skyline, which starts at five-stories and rises upwards to thirteen. The fibre cement and natural wood panels of the facade help to emphasize Hadid's notable fluid form, which are represented in the terraces and balconies.

© Zaha Hadid Architects, Courtesy of CityLife
© Zaha Hadid Architects, Courtesy of CityLife

Most of the apartments face south-east to exploit the sunlight and views from across the city and park. On the ground floor the double-height lobbies embody large openings and create strong visual continuity with the park.

© Zaha Hadid Architects, Courtesy of CityLife
© Zaha Hadid Architects, Courtesy of CityLife

The residents can expect to begin occuping their swanky apartments by the end of this year, whilest the towers are planned for completion in 2015.

  • Architects: Zaha Hadid Architects
  • Location: Viale Duilio 5 20145 Milan, Province of Milan, Italy 02 862041
  • Design: Zaha Hadid with Patrik Schumacher
  • Project Director: Gianluca Racana
  • Project Architect: Paolo Zilli
  • Design Team: Andrea Balducci, Caste H. Goswin Rothenthal, Gianluca Barone, Marco Amoroso, Alvin Triestanto, Letizia Simoni, Subharthi Guha, Marina Martinez, Luis Miguel Samanez, Santiago F. Achury, Massimo Napoleoni, Massimiliano Piccinini, Annarita Papeschi, Martha Read, Carles S. Martinez, Arianna Russo, Giuseppe Morando, Peter McCarthy, Line Rahbek, Mario Mattia, Matteo Pierotti
  • Competition Team: Simon Kim, Yael Brosilovski, Adriano De Gioannis, Graham Modlen, Karim Muallem, Daniel Li, Yang Jingwen, Tiago Correia, Ana Cajiao, Daniel Baerlecken, Judith Reitz
  • Consultants Management: J&A/Ramboll
  • Tower Structural Engineer: Redesco, Holzner & Bertagnolli, CAP
  • M&E: Max Fordham + Manens-Tifs
  • Facade: Arup
  • Lift's Strategy: Jappsen
  • Fire Fighting Strategy: Mistretta
  • Total Area - Hadid Tower: 122,700 sqm
  • Hadid Tower - Office Space Area: 67,000 sqm
  • Hadid Tower - Commercial Retail Area: 15,000 sqm
  • Hadid Tower - Commercial Parking, Storage, Plantrooms: 40,700 sqm
  • Total Area - Hadid Residences : 45,000 sqm
  • Hadid Residences - Commercial Retail Area: 25,000 sqm
  • Hadid Residences - Office Space Area: 65,000 sqm
  • Project Year: 2015
  • Photographs: Zaha Hadid Architects, Courtesy of CityLife, Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects , Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects
Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite:Nicky Rackard. "In Progress: CityLife Milano / Zaha Hadid Architects" 01 Mar 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed . <>