Bjarke Ingels Group have unveiled their design for The Portico, a 53,500-square-meter development on the last two remaining plots of the CityLife masterplan in Milan, Italy. CityLife presented the proposal with two individual buildings connected by a 140m long hanging roof structure to form a generous urban-scale entrance to the city.
The Portico was designed out of BIG’s London office, and was presented at a press conference with CityLife CEO Armando Borghi, Generali Real Estate SpA CEO and CityLife Chairman Aldo Mazzocco, BIG Founder Bjarke Ingels and BIG Partner/Design Director Andreas Klok Pedersen. “Rather than compete with the existing ensemble of towers, we propose to complete the urban fabric by forming a gate to the neighborhood. The catenary canopy connecting the two structures creates a new shaded and sheltered public space for the life of the city.” Bjarke Ingels, Founding Partner and Creative Director, BIG.
As BIG explains, traditionally, a portico is used as a device to solve multiple contextual challenges. It is an extension of an interior space to the exterior, allowing the climate to be enjoyed throughout the year. BIG proposes a portico created by a hanging structure. With a light roof and thin columns working in tension to prevent uplift, the building’s canopy serves as an inverse portico blurring the boundary between public and private, indoor and outdoor.
The existing masterplan consists of three towers surrounded by a public realm and residential neighborhoods. BIG's proposal creates a shaded public realm that interconnects the buildings to invite visitors into the area. Andreas Klok Pedersen, Partner and Design Director, BIG London, said that, "The site offered an opportunity to explore a new typology that connects the City Life area to the surrounding urban fabric. We propose a project that is at once low-rise and high-rise. The portico connecting the two buildings creates a shaded public square at the urban scale, uniting the district under a new gateway."
CityLife Milan is expected to be completed in 2023.
News via Bjarke Ingels Group