Milan’s urban fabric has long been defined by change. In a city known for its historic monuments, from the Piazza Duomo and Milan Cathedral to works like Velasca Tower, contemporary architecture must balance many existing contexts. Emerging as a global center for design and culture, Milan has become home to new buildings and structures addressing this condition as iconic landmarks and expressive forms. Actively building upon its legacy, Milan has turned its attention to the sky.
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Milan Architecture City Guide: 15 Must-See Landmarks and 15 Contemporary Attractions in Italy's Fashion Capital
A global city and cosmopolitan hub, Milan is mainly recognized today as a fashion and economic center, widely coveted by visitors from around the world. It is the second most populated city in Italy and hosts some of the major fashion and design-related events in the world. Milan also houses prestigious educational institutions, many of which are renowned for heritage and conservationist specialties.
The latter is quite relevant, seeing as the city's most recognizable tourist attractions are the gothic Duomo di Milano, Santa Maria delle Grazia, or the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, amongst other classical and baroque sites. On the other hand, the city also has some of the boldest and most experimental modern and contemporary buildings that highlight the marriage of the beautifully crafted and often ornamental heritage with the modern, post-modernist, and contemporary monuments that make up Milan's unique style.
Under the theme Unknown Unknowns. An Introduction to Mysteries, the 23rd Triennale Milano International Exhibition will open to the public on July 15th until December 11th, 2022, with installations, interventions, and special projects that "question what we don’t know we don’t know". This year's exhibition will display an array of artwork and installations designed by notable architects and designers hailing from 40 countries, such as Francis Kéré, winner of the 2022 Pritzker Architecture Prize, who will design an installation that brings together the voices of Africa and its diaspora.
The 60th edition of Salone del Mobile.Milano 2022, which will take place from the 7th till the 12th of June 2022 at the Fiera Milano Rho, is reflecting on the ongoing ecological transition of the design world, with a mission to "demonstrate that it is both possible and crucial to start embedding sustainability and environmental awareness into furniture production". More than 2,000 exhibitors, including over 600 young designers under the age of 35, will express their own identities and creative freedom, using the exhibition space as both an architectural and communication element with sustainability and ecology as main criteria.
David Chipperfield Architects Berlin and Arup have unveiled the design of the 2026 Winter Olympic Games arena. The structure will sit in the core of Milano Santa Giulia, a new urban district currently under redevelopment in the south-east of Milan. The new arena will house sports and cultural events with up to 16,000 visitors, and offer individuals of all demographics a vast outdoor area that promotes social gatherings and recreational activities.
The 60th edition of Salone del Mobile.Milano has been postponed and will now take place from the 7th till the 12th of June 2022. The decision was taken by the Board of Federlegno Arredo Eventi, in agreement with Fiera Milano, who voted to postpone the event from April 2022 to June 2022.
As part of Milan's ongoing vision of bicycle-friendly highways, the Metropolitan Council of Milan has approved its Biciplan “Cambio” project, a new transportation system that introduces "super-cycle" corridors across the urban fabric, prioritizing cycling, environmental protection, safety, and wellbeing. The project aims to compliment existing cycle paths with 750 kilometers of new corridors that will connect the city's 133 communes with its wider metropolitan area, and increase the amount of bicycle trips and reach by 10% internally and 20% on a greater scale.
Football clubs AC Milan and FC Internazionale Milano will have a new home stadium designed by architecture practice Populous. “The Cathedral” takes inspiration from the city’s architectural landmarks -the Duomo di Milano and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele – while incorporating technological and material innovation to create a carbon-neutral structure. The project, which replaces the Giuseppe Meazza Stadium, also known as San Siro, is set to revitalize a key urban area of Milan into a district dedicated to sports and leisure.
Lendager Group was founded with the explicit goal of becoming the leading sustainable architectural office in Denmark. Exploring the concept of Design for Disassembly (DfD for short), their recent project in Milan is grounded in the growing concern around resource consumption and low recycling rates within the construction industry. Expanding on themes of the circular economy, their work was designed utilizing chairs made of ocean plastic and the pavilion was designed for disassembly.
Work on Bjarke Ingels Group's gateway for Milan's CityLife district has officially commenced. The new-generation office building marks the completion of the CityLife area in the Italian city, an urban regeneration project that has been restored to provide a livable environment characterized by sustainability, improved quality of life, and all-inclusive services. The structure is set to "stand as a new paradigm for the offices of the future, as the outcome of a new idea of workplace based on innovative design solutions that put quality of life at the center and redefine the concept of sustainability".
Designer and art director Serena Confalonieri, along with a team of students and volunteers have created “Quadra”, a graphic installation that is part of the initiative “Piazze Aperte” promoted by the Municipality of Milan. The urban intervention is a graphic art project in a former parking lot in the Quarto Oggiaro district that aims to enhance and characterize tactical urban interventions in all cities.
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill was selected to design the Olympic Village for the 2026 Milan-Cortina Olympics following an international competition of 71 architecture studios from nine different countries. The project is part of the updated Porta Romana Railway Yard Master Plan, and will create a new center of activity in Porta Romana with minimal environmental impact. The self-sufficient project will feature residential, commercial, and public spaces, that change configurations based on the Olympics event.
The Loreto Open Community project is the winning proposal of the competition organized by the Municipality of Milan to redesign Piazzale Loreto, now a crowded traffic junction. Designed by Metrogramma, together with Mobility in Chain, Studio Andrea Caputo, LAND, Temporiuso, Squadrati and developed by Ceetrus Nhood, the project envisions a layered system of architectural objects and public spaces that would foster a wide array of activities while also shaping a new green area for the city.
Diller Scofidio + Renfro, PLP, Carlo Ratti, Arup and OUTCOMIST Win Competition to Regenerate the Porta Romana Railway Area in Milan
Led by OUTCOMIST, an international design team including Diller Scofidio + Renfro, PLP Architecture, CRA - Carlo Ratti Associati, and Arup won the competition to revitalize the Porta Romana Railway Area, transforming the industrial site into a diverse green neighborhood in Milan. Rehabilitating a disused railway yard into a connective tissue that links the southeast area of the city to the center, the development will generate a rich biodiverse public space, including a large urban park.
Construction has begun on “Welcome, feeling at work”, a biophilic office of the future in Milan, Italy. Designed by Kengo Kuma & Associates and commissioned by Europa Risorse, this venture seeks to create a workspace centered on employee health and wellbeing, integrated within its local environment. Imagined to be one of the most sustainable office development to date, the project is scheduled for 2024.
Diller Scofidio + Renfro And Stefano Boeri Architetti to Regenerate Abandoned Buildings in Via Pirelli 39 in Milan, Italy
Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS + R) and Stefano Boeri Architetti have won the international architectural competition for the renovation of Pirelli 39 in Milan. Launched on 25 November 2019, the contest organized by COIMA SGR and the municipality of Milan, gathered 70 submissions made up of 359 studios from 15 countries.