CityLife Tower

Andrea Maffei Architects as Architects

The tower designed by Arata Isozaki and Andrea Maffei as part of the redevelopment programme of the historical trade fair area in Milan commissioned by the company Citylife will reach a height of 207 meters in 2015, and will be the tallest in Italy.

The skyscraper, comprised of a modular system that can in theory repeat indefinitely, has six office floors in each of the eight modules clad with a double-glazed glass skin. The vertical continuation of the modules, slightly convex, has been designed to create the concept of a tower without end. Four slanted “struts” help to support the tower along the two main façades (reducing, among other things, the bulk of the load-bearing structures in the internal space) and act as one of the bracing systems.

“In our archipelago of forms – explains Andrea Maffei – we found it interesting to develop the idea of a skyscraper without end, a sort of endless tower. We wanted to study a concept to be applied to the skyscraper, even before imagining its aesthetics. In the aspiration for maximum height, we chose to apply the concept of a modular system that could repeat indefinitely and seamlessly.”


TCa CityLife Tower, Milan, Italy




CityLife s.r.l., Milan, Italy


Arata Isozaki and Andrea Maffei

design team

Pietro Bertozzi, Takeshi Miura, Alessandra De Stefani, Chiara Zandri, Vincenzo Carapellese, Roberto Balduzzi, Francesca Chezzi, Takatoshi Oki, Stefano Bergagna, Paolo Evolvi, Elisabetta Borgiotti, Adolfo Berardozzi, Sofia Bedinsky, Atsuko Suzuki, Antonietta Bavaro, Carlotta Maranesi, Higaki Seisuke, Hidenari Arai / Andrea Maffei Architects s.r.l., Milan, Italy

structural engineering

Maurizio Teora (PD), Luca Buzzoni (PM), Matteo Baffetti / Arup Italia s.r.l., Milan, Italy Favero & Milan Ingegneria s.p.a., Mirano, Italy


Mikkel Kragh, Mauricio Cardenas, Matteo Orlandi, Maria Meizoso, Carlos Prada / Arup Italia s.r.l., Milan, Italy

mechanical systems

Gianfranco Ariatta, Roberto Menghini, Riccardo Lucchese, Andrea Ambrosi, Sylvia Zoppo Vigna / Ariatta Ingegneria dei sistemi s.r.l., Milan, Italy

fire control

Salvatore Mistretta, Milan, Italy

vertical infrastructures

Jappsen Ingenieure, Frankfurt, Germany

lighting design

LPA Light Planners Associates, Tokyo, Japan

sound engineering

Vernon Cole, Cole Jarman, Addlestone, Surrey, United Kingdom

project management

J&A, Milan, Italy

Ramboll, London, United Kingdom


Colombo Costruzioni, Milan, Italy


built surface for the tower: 81.615 mq

surface for parking areas (outdoors and underground): 44.485 mq.

maximum building height: 207 m

number of floors: 50

number of office floors: 46

number of work stations: 3864


competition: 2003 (results: 2004) / design: 2005-2011 / start of construction: 2012 / estimated completion: 2015

Citylife Piazza Tre Torri retail and plaza

One Works as Architects

Citylife is a redevelopment project in the heart of Milan where up until 2005 the City's Trade Fair operated. After having participated with the team headed by Gustafson Porter, and acclaimed winners, in the 2010 international design competition for the site's 168,000 sqm urban park, OneWorks was assigned the designing of the Piazza Tre Torri and the adjacent lower level shopping area. Part of the overall City Trade Fair Project, the plaza is located in the center of the three tertiary towers along the pedestrian pathway which links Largo Domodossola with the new city park. The double story plaza reveals itself at the two principle levels of the public domain, one being the towers' ground floor (+129) and the other in correspondence to the hypogean level (+122), acting as a junction between the park and the pedestrian axis Domodossola. Within the same design scope is the below ground parking (+117, +113) in addition to the basement levels of the Isozaki tower which connect the parking lots to the above commercial activity.

The revision of the plaza's layout stems from variations in its functional program, or rather of its spatial distribution, and the desire to create a single public place made up of two open spaces at different levels. The commerce articulation is strongly characterized in part by the fashion mall at the base of the Hadid tower; whereas the outdoor commercial activity is distributed around the plaza and along the pathway towards Piazza VI Febbraio. The retail, therefore, permitted the public square to further open itself up to the city and the surrounding park, thereby emphasizing the project's strong urban character well integrated into the metropolitan area.

The configuration of the public plaza highlights three important aspects. Firstly, the relationship between Citylife park's southern and northern parts, therefore between the present day Piazza Giulio Cesare and Via Domodossola. Secondly, the East-West relationship, which correlates Piazza VI Febbraio with the fashion mall and park to the west. Finally, the definition of the central Tre Torre Plaza as an urban fulcrum and integral part to the pathway system described. Furthermore, this horizontal movement flow network is superimposed by a vertical system which links all three towers at both their access levels, and the two public reference levels of the entire project, with the metro station.

The strong spatial articulation is resolved through large openings that overlook the hypogean plaza, freeing the view of the three towers from below and allowing for a direct integration with the same. The lower level, characterized by the ceilings' design that turns up into the large apertures and partly onto the blind facades between the windows, reinforces once again the continuity of place between the different levels.


Studio Daniel Libeskind as Publishers

In 2004 Studio Libeskind, in conjunction with Zaha Hadid Architects and Arata Isozaki & Associates, won the competition for a master plan to develop and reconnect the existing city fabric of Milan to an abandoned 61 acre site, formerly home to the Fiera Milano, the city’s historic fairgrounds. With a high-rise complex, 25-acre park, public piazza, and subway station slated for completion in 2016, the first housing parcels have been completed by Studio Libeskind and Zaha Hadid Architects. The Libeskind residences employ the classical courtyard configuration and naturalistic materials of an historic Milanese neighborhood, while presenting an asymmetrical layering of the façade. Ranging from villas to apartment blocks, the low-rise apartments are sited on the perimeter of the site to the south and rise towards the park to the north.

The facades are clad in a finely textured, light grey tile, developed for the project by the Italian tile company Casalgrande Padana. Undulating outdoor spaces create a rhythmic pattern and are draped with a brise soleils, made with new, highly-sustainable wood. Each building is topped off by double-height penthouses, conceived as villas, with generous terraces, luxury finishes and city views. Each of these “sky villas” has a completely unique geometry that accentuates the tops of the buildings, integrating the large-scale structures into the rich and varied surrounding urban fabric.

The five-building complex gently curves around an open courtyard with interwoven pedestrian paths that connect to the street, the park, and an underground parking structure. Conceived as an outdoor living room for residents to gather and relax, the courtyard’s tranquility is preserved by routing vehicular traffic on a loop at the outer edge of the site, which allows for direct access to the double height lobbies and leads to the private parking compartments. The Residences utilize state-of-the-art design and are certified by the Italian Building Energy Consumption (A+ Class – CENED). Sustainable features include, but are not limited to, thermally regulated radiant ceilings, energy efficient programmable heating and cooling systems, high-tech insulation, sustainable tiles, composite wood brise soleils, and photo-voltaic-cells on the roof to generate and store electrical energy.

The first five-buildings of phase one are complete and the second phase of three additional buildings, that will accommodate 125 units, is scheduled to be completed by 2017. “The buildings themselves create extra value by deserving to be part of the view. In contrast to the asphalted surroundings and vinyl-windowed cheapness of even high-end American developments, these assemblages dynamically engage the greenery and kaleidoscopically choreograph sun and shadow through the day. CityLife courtyards are worthy amenities, not parking-lot leftovers. American residential developers should take note: They could learn a thing or two from CityLife.” –James, Russell, Architect Magazine (May 2014)

CityLife Shopping District

Zaha Hadid Architects as Architects

The CityLife Shopping District is opening, a new world of shopping and entertainment in the heart of Milan • 100 shops in an area of 32,000 square metres • Fashion, accessories, cosmetics, health, home care and technology become the beating heart of the exclusive commercial offer • A unique project, designed by prestigious firms of architects

The doors open tomorrow to the CityLife Shopping District, the largest and most innovative urban shopping district in Italy. It's ready to welcome visitors to a unique environment, with a distinctive commercial offer and attractions for your free time, for your well-being and for shopping: a new world in the heart of Milan. The pulsing soul of CityLife, the Shopping District will offer the catchment area of 700,000 people 100 units dedicated to shopping, dining, services, free time and entertainment, carefully selected by Sonae Sierra in line with the project's premium positioning and innovative context.

A mixed, high quality commercial offer CityLife Shopping District offers visitors the chance to meet numerous new brands to the Italian market and to rediscover other well-known and sought-after ones. In the segment dedicated to home and technology, there is Huawei's first European flagship store; shops for the home include HABITAT and Democracy Design. Among the brands in this segment, there is a major telephony player, R-store Apple Premium Reseller. The health and wellness segment boasts the world's first Nashi Argan salon, a place dedicated to looking after hair and skin, and the first beauty clinic, Juneco and Drogerie Markt (DM), specialising in things for you and your home, natural cosmetics and organic food products. There are many prestigious names found in the fashion and accessories sector including: Adele Altman, Adidas, Beatrice B, Chantelle Lingerie, Ck, Dixie, Foot Locker, Guess, Imperial, Incontri, Jacadi, Levi’s, Marella, MAX&Co, Midinette, Napapijri, Omai, Pandora, Paolo Tonali, Piquadro, Sophie 4 Kids, Superdry, Tommy Hilfiger and Timberland.

When it comes to the food segment, the Shopping District will be the Italian début for the Fresh Mex Calavera restaurant and the Roadhouse Meatery steak restaurant, two new and exclusive formats from the Roadhouse chain of the Cremonini group, and the East River – Brooklyn Brewery American bar, that can be found in the food hall in the covered mall. This zone features surprising architectural plays from the genius mind of Zaha Hadid, and opens directly onto the greenery of CityLife's park. CityLife Anteo will be at the centre of the entertainment offering in the Shopping District. Placed within the Mall, it will offer a programme of the very highest quality with its 7 screens and a total seating capacity of 1,200.

Armando Borghi, CEO at CityLife, said: “We are proud to announce the opening of the CityLife Shopping District. The most innovative commercial district in Italy that has food, fashion and entertainment and that integrates perfectly with the residential area and the tower offices that have been designed by three extraordinary architects. CityLife represents, even more so now, an example of how Milan can regenerate itself and offer a new way of city living.”

José Maria Robles, Property Director at Sierra Sierra Italia, added: “The CityLife commercial district, in addition to being in a truly fantastic location, is more than able to satisfy every visitor thanks to a wide, carefully selected choice of the best brand names, managing to anticipate the sector's trends through the presence of new operators to the shopping centre market. With a continuous commitment over time, CityLife Shopping District will continue to stand out on the market and to surprise clients at every visit thanks to its current tenant mix and a wealth of entertainment options throughout the year”.

A project designed by prestigious firms of architects The project's layout is based on three distinct architectural components: the shopping gallery over three storeys designed by Zaha Hadid Architects; the Tre Torri Piazza designed by One Works; and lastly an open-air pedestrian shopping street designed by the architect Mauro Galantino, a natural and symbolic entranceway to the Shopping District from the residential area and from the rest of the city. One other distinctive element is the CityLife park, the third largest in Milan, which spreads around the entire project and covers approximately 170,000 square metres, and will offer visitors a green space that is closed to traffic in which people can take a walk, relax, play games and rediscover nature in the heart of the city. The entire project is served by the new Purple (M5) metropolitan line, which stops at Tre Torri in the Piazza of the same name, as well as surface-level public transportation. Also available will be approximately 1,500 parking spaces for those wanting to reach the Shopping District by car.

The Libeskind CityLife residences

iGuzzini as Manufacturers
The three towers at the centre of CityLife, designed by Zaha Adid, Daniel Libeskind and Arata Isozaki have become a landmark on the Milan cityscape. CityLife is one of the largest regeneration schemes in Europe. Measuring a total of 366,000 sqm, it features a combination of private and public facilities, including private residences, shopping areas, parks and offices.

Daniel Libeskind’s tower is located on the south side of the CityLife area and his residences are designed to blend in with the elegant Fiera Milano district.

Here, the architect has reinterpreted the classic residential courtyard model, so the buildings stand around a circular mound with the private gardens and access roads located along the perimeter. The façades also have a special design that features alternating materials and a sculptural effect created by interrupting the buildings’ vertical lines with a system of balconies whose depth varies for each apartment.

Inside the residences, Daniel Libeskind has included a permanent attic area with spaces characterised by the distinctive broken lines and slashes typical of his architecture. This area is used by CityLife as a location for events.

In terms of lighting, the apartments have large windows that allow natural light to flood in with a homogeneous, diffuse effect that is reproduced at night by a special version of the iN 30 luminaire designed by Daniel Libeskind and the lighting designer Guido Bianchi and produced by iGuzzini. The different sections of the luminaire are cut at specific angles to recall the slashes and openings in the wall surfaces that characterise Daniel Libeskind’s architecture. This echo is deliberately more marked between the floor and the luminaire.

In areas where an accent as well as a homogeneous effect is required, Laser Blade modules have been inserted in the iN 30 modules normally used with an opal screen. These areas include the island in the kitchen and above the table in the lounge. Another space in which accent lighting has been installed is the corridor which is also used as an exhibition space. In this case, Palco projectors mounted on an LV track have been used.
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