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On site: Zaha Hadid Architects' Generali Tower tops out

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Zaha Hadid Architects’ 170m-tall Generali Tower in Milan has topped out

PROJECT DATA • PLANS • SECTIONS • ARCHITECT’S VIEW

Together with another two towers designed by Arata Isozaki and Daniel Libeskind, the 44-storey skyscraper forms part of the Citylife masterplan to regenerate the site of Milan’s International Fair which closed in 2005.

At the base will be a public piazza and shopping area while above 39 storeys will house offices for the Generali insurance group.

At ground level the tower has been aligned to connect with the surrounding public park and piazza and its curvilinear geometry has been formed from the park’s intersecting routes.

These shapes have been transferred into the tower creating a twisting shape with its floor slabs rotating around a central axis. 

According to the practice: ‘This incremental twisting is defined by algorithms to give each floor a fractionally different relationship to the floors above and below.

‘As the tower rises creating broader views and connections across the city, this twisting orientates the tower’s upper floors to face the centre of Milan and the Duomo.’

Back in 2014 the late Zaha Hadid’s practice completed an apartment complex within the huge masterplan

Architect’s view

The tower is at the centre of a vortex generated by a series of paths which converge in the park. The curvilinear geometries of the tower’s podium, animated by these tensional forces, emerge from the ground where the pedestrian paths and retail gallery converge. 

This torsion is transferred throughout the tower - the real core of the vortex – transforming horizontal energy into vertical thrust. 

The tower is conceived as a stack of equivalent, economically efficient floor slabs that incrementally twist about a vertical axis. This incremental twisting is algorithmically controlled so that each floor does not have the same angle, but has a fractional, relational angle to the floors above and below, further developing the dynamism of the tower.

Site plan

Citylife, Milan by Zaha Hadid Architects

Citylife, Milan by Zaha Hadid Architects

Ground floor plan

Citylife, Milan by Zaha Hadid Architects

Citylife, Milan by Zaha Hadid Architects

Tower floor plan

Citylife, Milan by Zaha Hadid Architects

Citylife, Milan by Zaha Hadid Architects

Sections

Citylife, Milan by Zaha Hadid Architects

Citylife, Milan by Zaha Hadid Architects

Citylife, Milan by Zaha Hadid Architects

Citylife, Milan by Zaha Hadid Architects

Citylife, Milan by Zaha Hadid Architects

Citylife, Milan by Zaha Hadid Architects

Project data

Location Milan, Italy
Type of project mixed-use
Client City Life Consortium
Architect Zaha Hadid Architects
Project manager J&A/Ramboll
Structural engineer Redesco (tower) and Holzner&Bertagnolli + Cap (basement)
M&E consultant Max Fordham + Manens-TIFS
Façade consultant Arup
Lift strategy consultant Jappsen
Fire strategy consultant Mistretta
Gross internal floor area 122,700m²
Project start date 2004
Project end date TBC

  • 1 Comment

Readers' comments (1)

  • Does this frozen dance of this cluster of towers (image 9) reflect the superficial and flashy taste of the erstwhile Italian 'top dog' Silvio Berlusconi, or is it just part of the first world trend for starchitects to play the look-at-me game of 'anything you can do I can do better' ?

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