5 old and new skyscrapers in Milan

1) Velasca Tower

Studio BBPR’s work is no longer that popular nowadays. But for the State, it is ‘a world-famous symbol of the architectural rebirth of Milan in the late 20th century’. Perhaps the Daily Telegraph did not know this, as it listed one of the greatest expressions of Italian Rationalism as one of the world’s ugliest buildings. The Milanese were quite upset.

Velasca Tower

Piazza Velasca 3-5

2) Pirelli Tower

Commissioned in 1965 from Giò Ponti, the Pirelli Tower is a concrete structure that ‘doesn’t rest on a base but emerges, surrounded by a void that separates it from the surrounding low bodies’. Standing 127,10 metres tall, it was the first building to surpass the Duomo and the Madonnina (a statue of the Virgin Mary) in height. For this reason, and as a sign of respect, a Madonnina was installed on top of the tower (a tradition that continues to this day, for each new higher building).

Pirelli tower

Via Fabio Filzi 22

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3) Vertical Forest

The two towers, designed by Stefano Boeri Architetti, won the 2014 International Highrise Award. The balconies are populated with 800 trees, 4500 bushes and 15.000 plants (which can be replaced but not changed), forming a 2-hectare forest. One of the apartments is listed on Airbnb if you want to spend the night there.

outside Vertical Forest

Via de Castillia / Via Confalonieri

4) CityLife Towers

The Straight, the Twisted, the Curved: they resemble the names of the characters in an old Western. But they are actually the nicknames of three skyscrapers, by Arata Isozaki, Zaha Hadid and Daniel Libeskind respectively. They will reach (the latter will be completed in 2020) 202, 170 and 175 metres in height, in the redeveloped CityLife district.

Citylife tower

Piazza Tre Torri


5) Galfa Tower

Featured in Michelangelo Antonioni’s movie La Notte, the Galfa Tower is a symbol of the Milanese economic boom, which was revamped by BG&K studio. The geometric façade and structure – thirty floors designed by Melchiorre Bega in 1956 – are quite impressive. In 2019, the residential and retail spaces and hotels will open to the public. With a panoramic terrace, of course.

Galfa tower

Via Gustavo Fara 41

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