Piazza Gae Aulenti – Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects

Piazza Gae Aulenti

The redevelopment of Porta Nuova in Milan, to which Piazza Gae Aulenti belongs is an urban intervention among the largest in Europe, certainly one of the most important theme in the transformation and upgrading of urban parts, a master plan that involves 20 architectural firms of eight different nationalities, a park of 150,000 square meters and the tallest tower of Italy.

All of this is happening, and it just happened in the heart of Milan – Upon exiting the station Garibaldi, where 3 subway lines converge and the high speed linking Milan in a few hours in Turin and Rome – in the vast urban portion of Porta Nuova. It was inaugurated in December 2012, and since that moment the square is growing up with new life and new events.


The project

A profusion of contemporary architecture in one of the focal points of the capital of Lombardy. Around this realization in fact you can still see the many other sites in neighborhoods Isola and Garibaldi (Cantieri di Porta Nuova – Archiobjects.com). Among these new buildings are present both residential buildings, and commercial buildings that together give life to a new Milan that only we can observe the work completed to evaluate.

Piazza Gae Aulenti

Piazza Gae Aulenti - Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects

Piazza Gae Aulenti - Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects

Expectations & Criticism

The premise to create a new urban quality are there, and in part have already been met with Gae Aulenti Square (which we describe below), but there are also criticisms from the academic and otherwise. For now this public space has yet to have its say, citizenship remains to look at this new creation that can manifest itself in all its social aspects when the whole masterplan will be defined.

 To better understand the criticisms of this project and the idea of ​​architecture of Cèsar Pelli read this post

Two years after its opening and after the inauguration of the Bosco Verticale, we can say that the project is successful. He has given Milan a new place of attraction. But there are still many who criticize him.

The square

The Square Game Aulenti is enriched by three circular fountains that will cover by a film of water, surrounded by a park bench sculpture of stone grit characterized by rounded lines.

Paved with slate, is surrounded by two layers of shelters in iron, wood and glass and constructed according to the principles of environmental sustainability, covered with photovoltaic panels that “feed” the surrounding towers. The surface of the square of 2,300 square meters and 80 meters in diameter.

The square is characterized by the substantial difference that makes a raised plaza to the context from which it arises, the building is surrounded by Unicredit and the other two office towers of 100 and 50 meters respectively, which in addition to limiting the boundaries reinforce the focusing in the middle of all the activities of a typical business district.

The Italian Studio Land has developed a project in which several paths are going to merge with a large tub of water. The trails allow visitors to make moves on the water’s edge (as you see in the firest pic)  and offer moments of alienation from city life

Andreas Kipar, (Studio Land Milano):
“In this hub, a crossroads of infrastructure and identity, the first issue for us was to manage the transformation of the city in key quality. In order to better explain the approach of our work, I can quote our aphorism that reflects very well the philosophy of Green Rays: know the past, understand the present, live in the future. The second issue is instead linked to a structural need of Milan: the city highly “mineralized”, anchored to the ground with its solid buildings, want a great, authentic public space in the best tradition of Milanese culture” @Progettare

Piazza Gae Aulenti

Piazza Gae Aulenti - Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects

Public Art

Coming from Corso Como, the first thing you encounter is this installation. This is the first urban installation of permanent Alberto Garutti, master of public art.
Twenty-three brass tubes run through the four floors of underground parking ramps, and “emerge” from a large void to connect with each other through the voices, sounds and noises.

Believe me they are connected to each other. I personally tried to speak and hear very well from one end of the tube, you just find the right one!

Piazza Gae Aulenti

Piazza Gae Aulenti - Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects

Unicredit Tower

The towers represent the typical shell of iron and glass that has characterized the figure of the skyscraper in the course of the last century, with the exception of some things that have made possible to reach the LEED gold

In fact, The buildings that make up the complex are the first pilot project in Italy for pre-certified LEED, which provides a significant reduction in energy consumption in the use of natural resources compared to the standards required by current regulations.

The label “green” issued by the US Green Building Council certifies the 22.5% energy savings, 37.3% of reduction in the use of potable water in buildings, the total re-use of rain water, 93% recycled waste from construction site, 20.5% of material from recycling used in construction and, finally, 41% of locally sourced materials.

Piazza Gae Aulenti

All photographs ©Luca Onniboni – (do whatever you want, reminding us)