PortaNuova Centro is situated in one of the largest redevelopment projects in Europe which has opened up the centre of Milan, creating an international atmosphere and a new financial and cultural hub that has made a vast contribution to the polycentric transformation of the city. This residential complex has achieved a refined compromise between the new vertical skyline of Milan and the surrounding urban residential buildings. The complex is ten storeys high, and is located at the intersection of Via Marco Polo and Via Vespucci, while the lower sections are on a level with the adjacent apartment buildings.
A main aspect of the project is the corner facade, with visual impact seen when approaching from piazza Alvar Aalto; the rounded corner, ground level base and the large loggia balconies above, create a more regular composition on the facades overlooking Via Marco Polo and Via Vespucci. The curved base height is tempered by a slightly squared off contour, forming a contrast with the loggias for a well-balanced effect.
The connection with the lower structures is achieved through the clever oblique design of the narrower facades, with terraces that increase in size with each descending floor, providing a dynamic effect and surrounding the whole internal garden. An important element for continuity is created by the light coloured string courses on both the street and internal garden facades. These horizontal bands are accentuated by the vibrant greenery on the terraces and surrounding the lower structures, creating hanging gardens around the lounging areas and outdoor pool.
The solid string courses contrast with the transparent railings and vast windows, creating a play between solids and voids in the stone facades. The transparency and visual openness is especially apparent on the ground floor which houses the vast lobby and communal services with a fitness area and indoor pool accessed from Via Marco Polo. This is an extremely well-balanced project which was able to achieve a middle ground with the characteristics of refined traditional Milanese residential buildings, in a contemporary interpretation perfectly in harmony with the international ambience of the new Porta Nuova district.
TYPOLOGY: Apartment building
CLIENT: Marco Polo Sviluppo S.r.l.
LANDSCAPE: Studio AG&P Milano
COLLABORATORS: Francesca Romano, Andrea Piatti