In Progress: CityLife Milano / Zaha Hadid Architects

© , Courtesy of CityLife

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 - named 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 will be built alongside the curved, 150 meter Libeskind Tower by – you guess it – Daniel Libeskind. 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…

© Zaha Hadid Architects, Courtesy of CityLife

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

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

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

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

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

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

Architects: Zaha Hadid Architects
Location: Viale Duilio 5 20145 Milan, Province of Milan, 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
Year: 2015
Photographs: Zaha Hadid Architects, Courtesy of CityLife, Zaha Hadid Architects , Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects

Cite: Rackard, Nicky. "In Progress: CityLife Milano / Zaha Hadid Architects" 01 Mar 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed 27 May 2015. <>
  • Andrei P

    looks so generic

  • Tyler

    by progress I expected photos…. not that it would matter it’s as bland as an SOM

  • P


  • post

    Another twisting tower. I cannot believe this is happening. “Born of the desire to move away from the concept of towers being ‘technocratic engineering solutions’ and embrace a strategy with more architectural input”. WTF does this mean? It a joke. Buildings are mostly technocratic engineering solutions, there are just very few people who can create compelling buildings from it. I wish she could articulate her ideas or come up with some credible approach to what she does like Eisenman or Van Berkel. Liebiskind’s is even more alarming. This is garbage….

  • xing

    This building is so good. It has such a good relation with surroundings. Generated from context, it is quite urban and harmonious. The building is so magnificent, not impotence at all.Congratulations Milano!

    • J

      I hope you’re being sarcastic…

    • xing

      guys u don’t understand sarcasm :(

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  • bz

    this deserves to be in Dubai, not Milan.

  • Andrei P.

    I wonder whether that spherical curved facade is oriented to the north. Otherwise it would be fun to notice some burning people where the sun’s rays concentrate.

  • Rory Stott

    Libeskind’s tower has a touch of Dali’s melting clocks about it. I’m not sure if that’s an implicit compliment. I think it could be if it is intentional, making it an artistic comment on the society that produces these towers- but being Libeskind I doubt it.

  • dandonn

    Watch out for the Aztec Death Rays. (See the walkie talkie in London)

  • anto

    Hi im study architecture in Ecuador and i need information about residense libeskimd of the city life project its for a university work and i cant find planes. If you could help me with ground floor planes, elevations or cuts Thanks for everything