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Posts published in “Design & Architecture”

Igloos in Milan. A post war housing solution

Igloos in Milan are a major example of architectural diversity of the capital of fashion and design. Their construction demonstrates how iconic and vibrant was the design scene just a few years after the second world conflict. Igloos in Milan. A brief history The igloo houses in Milan were built in 1946 on a project by architect and engineer Mario Cavallè, who also designed the mushroom houses which were demolished at the beginning of the sixties. These particular contructions own their origin to the need of those left homeless by the allied bombing which took place in Milan during the…

Milan brings its Coliseum back to life

Milan brings its Coliseum back to life As you probably know Milan has a long history! Founded back in the VII century before Christ. Its Roman era left an impressive heritage to the city which is about to come back to life. Roman ruins are visible throughout the city. Particularly worthy of note are the roman ruins in Via Brisa, just a few steps from the city centre and the ones at the metro station of Piazza Duomo. Milan used to be the capital of the Western Roman Empire (286 BC), and a city of this calibre needed to have…

Milan is in the middle of an architectural frenzy

The architectural frenzy of the city of Milan started back on the 11th of May 2011 when the MICO Milan Convention Centre was officially opened. Designed by architect Mario Bellini the MICO features an impressive art work made of iron which covers the entire rooftop of the convention centre. The Milanese people called it the comet. This stunning piece of architecture has now become a landmark of the city, an emblem that distinguish the urban soul of Milan. A few months after the big opening of the convention centre of Milan, another new development draw the attention of the architecture…

Versace’s home is up for sale

Versace‘s home is up for sale in the heart of Milan, the capital of fashion and design. Among the celebrities houses for sale, has certainly made news that of Santo Versace, the brother of the iconic fashion designer Gianni and the equally talented Donatella, who had to revise down the sale price of his house in the center of Milan. A mansion not exactly easy to place given the exorbitant price of 33 million euros, price revised after the vain attempt to sell it five years ago, when it was proposed at 49 million euros. A building of about 2,000…

Brera Design District: a must see in Milan

Brera Design District is one of the most popular neighbourhood of Milan and particularly during Design Week it becomes a hotspot for creativity and innovation. The Brera Design District owes its name to the main street that crosses this area of the city (Via Brera) where the Accademia delle Belle Arti (School of Arts) and the Pinacoteca di Brera (National Museum) are. The co-existance of these two renowned institutions made of the Brera Design District, since the beginning of the XXth century, a popular destination for creative minds, artists and designers. It has been considered as the most bohemian and…

Milano Design Week 2018

Milano Design Week 2018 is about to begin. If you happen to be in the city during this hyper-creative week do not forget to regularly check our blog and Instagram profile to see what’s happening in Milan. From the 17th to the 22nd of April 2018 Fiera Milano, one of the largest exhibition facilities of Europe, hosts the “Salone del Mobile” (furniture fair). Managed and organized by Federlegno, the industry association of Italian furniture manufacturers, the Salone del Mobile is the annual tradeshow where clients and suppliers meet. More than 2.000 exhibitors, 30% of which are not Italian, meet at the…

Vintage streetcars riding in Milan

Vintage streetcars are a landmark  of Milan and one of the main attractions of the city. The origin of the vintage streetcars or trams, as the Milanese people call them, dates back to the 18th century when a British engineer, Benjamin Outram, patented the very first  urban tramway. However care must be taken not ot be deceived. The word “tram” derives” from the saxon word “traam” which means beam. Beams were used to lay down the rails, hence the name of the cars. The first tramway of Milan was inaugurated in 1876 and connected the north of the city to…

Flea markets in Milan

Flea markets in Milan Shopping in Milan is not just about the flagship stores in the Montenapoleone fashion district. A tour of the city must include the visit to some of the most iconic flea markets in Milan. The flea markest on the Navigli canals Among the flea markets in the city of Milan, the one that takes place in the Navigli district is for sure the most popular. It gathers more than 280 merchants who occupy with their booths almost two miles along the Navigli canals. Carefully selected by the Associazione Naviglio Grande the vendors offer to their potential…

The darsena: Milan’s waterfront

The darsena is the heart of the navigli district in Milan. The word darsena literally translates into dock or shipyard and since the beginning of the 17th century this has been the role of this little harbour in the South West side of Milan. It constitutes the outlet of the navigli, the artficial canals that cross the entire city. The whole history of the navigli deals with the construction of the majestic Duomo cathedral. The flatboats carrying the white marbles employed for the cathedral’s construction, used to navigate these narrow canals from the north of the Lombardy region to the city centre. When the…

Design week 2017: let’s start!

The design week is now on in Milan and the whole city is fully packed with people from the five continents. From the 4th to the 9th of April 2017 the Salone del Mobile ( the furniture tradeshow) takes place at the Fiera Milano facilities. More than 2000 exhibitors form 165 countries and an expected attendance of 300.000 people. These are the numbers of the 56th edition of the most prestigious design event. The official opening of the design week will see the participation of the President of the Italian Republic Sergio Mattarella who will be speaking at the inauguration…

Porta Nuova: Milan’s silicon valley.

Porta Nuova is the up-and-coming district of Milan. The renovation of this area of the city started back in 2005 and at that time was the largest construction yard of Europe. This two billions renovation project saw the participation of twenty architects who worked to re-design the Varesine area with the help of more than two thousands workers. Nowadays the Porta Nuova district features some astonishing buildings like the Bosco Verticale , which was elected best skyscraper of the world by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat in 2015 and the Cesar Pelli Tower which now hosts the Unicredit’s headquarter.…

Palazzo INA: fifties architecture in Milan

Palazzo Ina is a massive building along corso Sempione one the largest streets of the city. It was built between 1953 and 1958 by the Istituto Nazionale delle Assicurazioni (INA – National Institute of Insurances). Palazzo INA is a 19 storey building for a total hight of 64 meters. It was supposed to be both a residental and commercial building when it was designed by architect Piero Bottoni. In the initial project the tenth floor of the Palazzo INA was supposed to be a sort of recreational space with a winter garden and a playroom for kids, but the investors…

Twin buildings in Milan and Brooklyn

Casa 770 is a particular building in Milan. What’s the story behind this maisonette? It all starts in 1940 when Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn moved to America because of the beginning of the nazi persecution against the Jewish people. His community purchased for him a three-storey building  at  770 of Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn. The Rabbi, the most prominent figure of the lubavitcher community, lived there for ten years and died in 1950. The residence in Brooklyn then became a place of worhship and the Rabbi’s son-in-law, Menachem Mendel Schneerson, decided to duplicate that same building all over the world. The city of Milan…

The Tempio della Vittoria, a monument for the Milanese people

The Tempio della Vittoria is a monument dedicated to the Milanese who died during the first world war and its construction begun in 1927 on a project by architect Giovanni Muzio with the cooperation of the famous designer and architect Gio Ponti. Where is it? The area chosen for the erection of this memorial monument is particularly meaningful. It was the cemeterium ad martyres (the cemetery of the martyrs) to ideally link the stories of the christian martyrs to the victims of the war. It was partially destroyed during the second world war by the allied bombing and its reconstruction…

Palazzo Cova, the other castle of Milan

The castello is actually a palazzo and was built between 1910 and 1915 on a project by architect Adolfo Coppedè. It is an astonishing example of the so-called gothic revival architecture which spread around Europe during the late 18th century, in contrast with the neo-classical style. The castello features a tower with a crenellated parapet at its top, typical of the medieval architecture. Built with red bricks and white stones it develops on five storeys and the first floor features a loggia which further enlarges the massive shape of this building. You can see it at: Via Carducci, Milan Underground…

The best skyscraper of the world is in Milan

It’s official! The best skyscraper of the world is in Milan. The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat  in Chicago has elected the “Bosco Verticale(vertical wood/forest)” as the most beautiful skyscraper built in 2015. The building was designed by Milanese architect Stefano Boeri who has recently declared through twitter “I am happy for Milan, I am happy for Italy, I am happy for our architecture”.  The Bosco Verticale is actually composed by two different buildings of 111 and 78 meters. The two massive residential skyscrapers feature almost a thousand trees and plants spread throughout their entire height. The construction…

And now Milan has its “Hollywood” sign

It is an American landmark, standing right there on the top of Mount Hill since 1923 when a real estate entrepreneur put it there to advertise the construction of a new residential district. It is the Hollywood sign. Since then its popularity has grown to become an American icon. Thousands of tourists go there to see what they saw in the movies and to experience the most what the Santa Monica Mountains have to offer.  Throughout the years it became the symbol of the movie industry that vibes in Hollywood, a fast paced environment where dreams come true. The city…