Posts tagged with "Milan":

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Prada’s OMA-designed Torre is unveiled during Milan Design Week

A new profile rises almost 200 feet above the tangled web of railroad tracks cutting across southern Milan, dominating the otherwise flat skyline. Following the white concrete nine-story beacon to its source will land you in the OMA-designed Prada Foundation, officially inaugurated in 2015 (the tower was originally scheduled to open at this time). As the final notch in the Prada family’s campus–which boasts a pastel-soaked Wes Anderson-designed cafe-bar, a mirrored cinema, and a gold-leaf-encrusted “Haunted House” amid the century-old refurbished warehouses–Torre, the long-delayed tower is an appropriately startling final act for a foundation that intends to “activate and challenge the senses,” according to its Press Officer Nicolo Scialanga. “It’s not a passive building,” OMA’s Federico Pompignoli says simply of the tower. Working with Rem Koolhaas and Chris van Duijn, Pompignoli has overseen every conceivable aspect of the Foundation’s design since the start of the firm’s collaboration with the Prada family, even moving to the Italian city in 2013 to be closer to the construction. “Instead, every single space becomes a special occasion, an opportunity to curate oneself.” We are sitting on the cantilevering terrace outside the sixth-floor restaurant on perfect Milanese afternoon. The furniture flanks the glassy wall, which retreats to the original alignments of the building while exposing the bar inside. As the triangular terrace narrows, it meets the glass wall at what Pompignoli refers to as the “total convergence point” of the building. It’s among his favorite details in the zig-zagging tower. “We are not fans of the white cube,” admits Pompignoli. “So when Miuccia Prada gave us a brief to develop a building responding to this display condition, we responded with a series of vertical variations that test the architecture as well as the art.” But to merely call the building idiosyncratic would be to ignore the calculated irregularity of the building, which plays out through three main conditions. The floor shape, height, and orientation are used “as axonometrics” to develop nine floors that are “completely different” from each other, suggests Pompignoli. The result is sort of like an architectural Rubik’s Cube, where each floor’s unique style can play out independently and in unexpected ways while remaining rooted to the others through the building’s concrete core. “It’s an attempt at the white cube defying its own boringness,” says Pompignoli. The result is a space that not only stretches vertically, but somehow also through all directions at once. The windows start at under nine feet tall on the first floor and expand to nearly three times this height by the top level. This plasticity creates a sense of mounting anticipation (perhaps a more fitting name here than their recent Parisian project) through not just expanding space but also ever-increasing light. Ascending the tower, the grassy abandon of the railway tracks is replaced by Milan’s receding skyscrapers to the north, which ultimately yield to the brilliant blue sky by the time you hit the restaurant on the sixth floor. Cool light washes over the kitsch interiors of the restaurant, featuring ceramic pieces by Lucio Fontana; it’s more bourgeois Italian Grandma than bleak white cube minimalism. “Like the Prada Foundation at large, the tower is a vertical sequence of surprises and challenges,” suggests Pompignioli. This sensation is magnified by the dynamic floorplan and orientation of the six floors of gallery space, which alternates the glass side from north to east on each floor while maintaining the same silhouette. As you linger in the galleries to take in the art–a sampling of Miuccia Prada’s contemporary collection, ranging from impaled cadillacs by Walter De Maria to Carsten Höller’s magic twirling mushrooms–each level of the tower feels like a new space, without requiring (or justifying) an explanation. Thankfully, OMA seems less than interested in revealing the logic behind their magic tricks of space and light, preferring, like the tower, to leave much up in the air. This motif plays out in another of the architect’s favorite spots: the “ghost” scissored staircase backlit with two-tone millennial pink fluorescence, and where a sheet of glass separates two sets of public and emergency stairs–one white, the other gray– that never meet. In addition to the vertical expansion, OMA’s surprises also lie in the details: like the bathrooms on the second and eighth floors. I start to protest about the cladding detail in the first-floor bathrooms, where individual mirrored stalls open into a trippy black and lime green gridded washroom that conceals the door leading to the toilets. His response is just about as close as you can get to a riddle without telling one: “It could be true that we should make the handles a bit more clear, but it is also true that if you find yourself in a toilet, somewhere there should be a door.” Ultimately, the tower is a space where the curious and the wanderers will be rewarded. In this sense, it is a decisive contrast to the standard operating logic of the white cube. There’s also plenty of moments for second glances–like the view from the staircase between the sixth and seventh floors, which gives a spectacular view down to the tower’s burly support beam that anchors into the rooftop of a century-old distillery warehouse–and for serendipitous encounter, like an apparent dead-end that leads into the second floor’s gallery space (where Jeff Koons’ bouquet of candy-colored steel tulips is presented like a reward). Above all, there’s a feeling of triumph that hits when you stumble out onto the restaurant terrace–out of breath and disoriented from the climb up the staircase–and you are rewarded with a panoramic view of Milan’s skyline. “The rooftop terrace is the last surprise of this tower,” explains Pompignioli. “For us, it’s another opportunity for public programming, a place to go that’s not necessarily linked to the art.” A closer look at the surface of terrace reveals the exact same type of brick used on to pave Prada Foundation’s outdoor campus some 60 meters below: a public space that can be accessed without buying a ticket to the exhibitions. With its own entrance directly from the street, the restaurant connects the Foundation to the rest of the city in unprecedented ways. “Here, we are inviting the city to see itself from an entirely new perspective.”
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An inside look at Villa Borsani for Milan Design Week

On May 15, Milan’s Triennale Design Museum will open a retrospective of Italian designer-architect Osvaldo Borsani curated by Norman Foster and Tommaso Fantoni (the grandson of Borsani). In advance of the exhibition, designer and curator Ambra Medda created Villa Borsani: Casa Libera! to offer a rare glimpse into Villa Borsani, the house Osvaldo built for his twin brother Fulgenzio in 1953. The two brothers founded the Italian furniture company Tecno, which is famous for its designs such as the D70 Sofa (1954), P40 Chaise Longue (1955), and its office systems. Located outside Milan, Villa Borsani houses the Borsani archives, which date back to the 1930s and include drawings, paintings, and photographs of Tecno furniture and other projects. Villa Borsani: Casa Libera! opened in tandem with Milan Design Week.

Although it has been unoccupied as a residence for over a decade, Medda brought the villa to life with floral arrangements, archival furniture, and a signature scent in collaboration with artist Harry Were, florist Sophie Wolanski, and stylist Katie Lockhart. The exhibition also includes a music selection by Alexander Francis, making it a total sensory experience. Visitors are encouraged to explore the gardens and archives as well (which AN definitely endorses). Villa Borsani: Casa Libera! will be on view until September 15.

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Spotlight on ten designs from Salone del Mobile 2018

From April 17 to 22, all eyes in the design world are on the spectacular exhibitions, installations, pop-ups, and launches by an impressive lineup of designers and brands at Milan Design Week. From the International Bathroom and EuroCucina exhibitions to the satellite shows, here is a sampling of the designs—bravissimi!

Talisman Sconce Apparatus

Articulated by a raised pattern, this jewel-like sconce was inspired by Persian motifs that appear in Achaemenid stone reliefs, metalworking, and sculpture. It is part of a series that was inspired by Creative Director Gabriel Hendifar’s Iranian family heirlooms.

Circe Lounge Chair Ini Archibong for Sé

Swiss designer Ini Archibong collaborated with the London-based furniture maker famous for its 20th century-inspired designs. The work is a nod to Art Moderne, featuring the curving geometric lines of the back and base of the chair, and the round, curvaceous form of the soft, pink cushion.

STRUCTURES Kinnasand

Berlin-based Studio Greiling morphed a series of ottomans, benches, and daybeds into a rug-seating hybrid, exploiting the very often unexplored space in between floor and furniture. By draping rugs on top of colorful metal tubing, the fabric transforms into seating.

DeKauri Bath Credenza Daniel Germani for Cosentino

Spanish surfaces purveyor Cosentino and Italian furniture maker Riva 1920 worked with architect Daniel Germani to create a freestanding bathroom vanity that conceals the sink, lighting, storage, and mirror. Doors crafted out of 50,000-year-old Kauri wood open to a white Dekton by Cosentino sink, a Fantini faucet, and vanity-like lighting by Juniper Design.

Series Y Gensler for Artemide

Gensler designed a Mondrian-inspired fixture that accommodates both soft and bright lighting via two different screen profiles. The branchlike composition allows for configuration of direct or indirect illumination—all from a single power source.

Ratio Dada

Belgian-born architect and designer Vincent Van Duysen took a mix of warm and cold materials—wooden panels juxtaposed with natural stone countertops—and rendered them in modular, metallic grids for this kitchen.

Hawa Beirut Richard Yasmine

This otherworldly furniture collection is a nostalgic reflection of architecture in the designer’s hometown of Beirut, including arch-shaped references to Lebanese architectural elements, window-like glass inserts, slabs of marble, and handmade tassels. Swathed in pastel hues, the series comprises a set of chairs, a hybrid table/decorative screen, and a folding screen.

Drop Lindsey Adelman

With its metal, tubular structural system adorned with poetically placed globes, Drop recalls visual tropes associated with the 20th-century machine age. Administering a hand-applied mixture of salt and ammonia to the surface created the algae-like patina.

Kartell by Laufen Laufen Laufen, the Swiss bathroom outfitter, collaborated with Italian furniture purveyor Kartell on a conceptual collection of colorful washbasins, taps and fittings, storage units, shower bases, bathtubs, lights, and accessories. The result is a study of form and silhouette with brightly saturated accents of translucent acrylic, a material for which Kartell is famous.

Disco Gufram

Recalling the surreal disco balls by Dutch art studio Rotganzen, Gufram’s Charley Vezza envisioned three cabinets and two coffee tables as pedestals for melting mirrored disco balls for the Disco collection. Other items aim to preserve the brand’s iconic history of designing Italian dance clubs. Can you dig it?

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Carlo Ratti unveils four seasons installation at Salone del Mobile

As climate change blurs the typical boundaries between seasons, a forthcoming installation by Carlo Ratti Associati and Studio Römer will take that a step further, by exploring the relationship between nature and living in a piece that combines spring, summer, winter, and autumn under a single roof in the center of Milan's Piazza del Duomo. Titled "Living Nature," the 5,400-square-foot garden pavilion will be open to the public in the city's main square over the course of the Salone del Mobile fair, from April 17 through 15, 2018. With its four natural, climactic microcosms, the piece is ostensibly a study on the relationship between the natural environment and the city surrounding it, but it also goes one step further by experimenting with the latest technology in energy management systems, including photovoltaic cells, accumulators, and heat pumps. “In the 20th century, cities expanded outwards to conquer nature and the countryside," says Carlo Ratti, founding partner at CRA and director of MIT Senseable City Lab. "We believe that today’s challenge is the opposite: How can we bring nature back to the city and in the house?" Citing Bosco Verticale as an example of Milan's leading-edge engagement with biophilic design, Ratti says his firm's new project “continues such a reflection, bridging the domestic dimension closer to today’s most pressing environmental challenges.” As such, the pavilion will be divided into four "rooms," each with its own interior furnishings and plants selected by French botanist Patrick Blanc. Though climate control is often associated with excessive energy consumption, the new project aims to spark a conversation about sustainable design. The structure's Crystal membrane dynamically filters light based on input from light-reactive sensors. PV panels generate the energy to heat the summer area and cool the winter zone, with excess energy generated during peak production times stored in a battery system. With the challenges of climate change in mind, “we need to devise strategies for climate remediation to improve living conditions in our cities, defining a closer alliance between the natural and artificial worlds,” says Antonio Atripaldi, project leader at CRA. “This project offers a radical change of perspective, demonstrating the feasibility of climate control technology that is also sustainable, with vast potential for future applications.”
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Koolhaas and Herzog & de Meuron venture into fashion design for Prada

Prada has thrown its 2018 fall menswear collection back to the 90’s, with a fashion show in Milan that put utilitarian black nylon front and center. Rem Koolhaas, Herzog & de Meuron, French designers Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec, and German industrial designer Konstantin Grcic were all invited to interpret the material through an industrial lens to create a unique item for the collection. Fashion designer Miuccia Prada’s rise to fame was built on black nylon in 1984; in weaving nylon, typically used for packaging at the time and not clothing, into the landmark luxury “Vela” bag, Prada transformed the luxury brand into a contemporary clothing company. The same waterproof “Pocone” nylon used in the original Vela bag was on full display yesterday at Prada’s preview of its Autumn Winter 2018 menswear collection in Milan. Instead of flash or color, the focus was on form and usage, and the menswear fashion week show was appropriately staged in an industrial warehouse with a Prada twist. The storage facility in Viale Ortles, Milan, was plastered with throwbacks to Prada’s past and lit with blues, reds and purples by AMO, the research and branding studio of OMA. This isn’t the first time AMO has worked with Prada, as they also designed Prada’s 2017 Spring/Summer venue. OMA founding principal Rem Koolhaas contributed a backwards backpack to the show, designing a black nylon pack meant to be worn on the front of the body. The boxy container is meant to be first and foremost accessible, as Koolhaas notes that the convenience of a backpack is negated by having to take it off to access. “The shape of the backpack has the convenience of flexibility, the location–the back–the huge inconvenience that it is fundamentally inaccessible to the wearer,” Koolhaas told Prada. In the same way the Vela bag advanced the backpack through material, Koolhaas’s pack was meant to be the next step forward in the bag’s shape. Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron chose to focus on the clothing side, designing a shirt patterned with what looks like statements in English, but reveals itself to be gibberish upon closer examination. Calling language useless, Herzog & de Meuron reduced words to nothing more than ornamentation as a commentary on the way untrue information has saturated our daily lives. “It has lost its seductive power. There is nothing new, nothing critical, nothing true in language that cannot be turned into its opposite and claimed to be equally true. Language has become an empty vehicle of information,” reads Herzog & de Meuron’s statement to Prada. OMA and Koolhaas have had a longstanding partnership with Prada, collaborating on everything from a 120,000-square-foot arts complex in Milan, to the Prada “Epicenter” in New York. All of Prada’s 2018 Autumn/Winter menswear collection can be found here.
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You can see entire landscapes in this recently released furniture series

Powdered glass, dyed sand, silica, coffee—these are the materials designer Fernando Mastrangelo used to craft his latest furniture series, dubbed "Escape." As exotic as those materials may seem, they're just the tip of the iceberg for New York–based Mastrangelo. His studio has experimented extensively with unusual castings, using salt, sugar, corn, salt, cement, sprinkles, metal beads, and more, in its sculptures and furniture. Mastrangelo recently collaborated with SHoP Architects to cast entire walls in Thakoon, a newly-minted Soho boutique clothing store (look for it the most recent edition of AN Interior!). "Escape," which recently made its debut in Milan, finds fresh inspiration in the natural world. The series "is inspired by the perfect compositions of landscapes and horizons, which are at once harsh and geometric, yet soft and gentle," Mastrangelo told The Architect's Newspaper. "I wanted to create objects that capture that language, and the profound sense of calm and contemplation that stems from a connection to nature. This is the first time we’ve cast powdered glass, which has a unique luminous quality that really makes the pieces feel alive." The new collection is now on view at the Maison Gerard (53 East 10th Street, New York) from April 13th to May 5th.
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Adam Nathaniel Furman designs hyper-vibrant furniture installation for Milan Design Week 2017

London-based Adam Nathaniel Furman once described a project of his as "eye gougingly colorful." The work in question was a conceptual reaction to the monolithic concrete Corviale housing scheme in Rome. A designer, critic, and champion of postmodernism, Furman has now designed four equally colorful works with an Italian inflection. This time, however, no eye gouging is necessary. Furman was commissioned by Camp Design Gallery for the Milan Design Week/Fuori Salone 2017 to create this new installation, titled 4 Characters in the First Act and curated by Marco Sammicheli. It comprises furniture described by Furman as "bursting with personality." The four pieces are all named. Introducing: Angiolo (aside unit); Anselmo (a table); Annibale (a cupboard with legs); and Augusto (a triangle cupboard). Drawing inspiration from Italy, and what Furman describes as "its incredible ability to always mix, and synthesize, influences from all around the world," the highly decorative pieces draw from Korean, Balian, Thai, and Chinese imagery. Furman continued, noting how the styles he draws upon have been "updated with a bright, glowing, and joyful 21st century aesthetic." The four A's (Angiolo, Anselmo, Annibale, and Augusto) have been made with traditional Italian craft, using hand-made Lombard timber carpentry and painted steel. "Imagine a Thai business lady, and an Italian backpacker, spending a long, exciting, passion and drug-fuelled night together in a Chinese club," said Furman. "Well these pieces are the embodiment of this kind of wonderful, sensual and aesthetic trans-continental exchange." "In an age of increasing isolationism and gloom, this is a collection that picks up on Marco Polo's legacy, and is the celebratory, colorful expression of a desire to travel, and to meet and make exciting, strange new things," he added.
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Herzog & de Meuron’s Feltrinelli Foundation opens in Milan

Herzog & de Meuron's Fondazione Feltrinelli has opened up in the Porta Volta district of Milan on the via Pasubio avenue. The foundation is primarily a center for historical sciences, political, economic, and social research. Herzog & de Meuron's building will serve as the publisher's head office, being used for teaching, reading, meeting, and administrative purposes. Microsoft is also due to take up residency in February next year. On the outside, the project features bicycle and pedestrian paths along with a concrete courtyard sparsely populated with benches and trees. Concrete continues to dominate the space, being used in grid fashion for the building's structure—the glass facade is interrupted only by mullions and concrete floor plates. Subsequently, the interior has plenty of access to daylight ensuring adequate illumination. While differing in material from its 20th-century neighbors, the building references the surrounding historical vernacular through simplistic geometries and repetitive patterns on its facade. Inside, meeting rooms, classrooms, office space, and an extensive library and reading room can be found along with typical amenities including a cafe and reception area. The building will feature furniture from Unifor and bespoke designs from Herzog & de Meuron who worked with Italian furniture company Coima Image.
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Salone del Mobile Highlights

As usual, Milan Design Week was a whirlwind as architects, designers, dealers, journalists, and PR firms descended to the most storied furniture brands pavilions at Salone del Mobile and showrooms across the city. Here are a few highlights from the week:

Salone del Mobile Rho Fiera

The main event, particularly for the trade, spans over two million square meters and is housed in building by Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas. Thousands of pavilions were carefully crafted to attract furniture buyers, dealers, and press for the 55th Salone del Mobile. The larger brands have teams who spend up to a year designing pavilions, which have to be assembled in a week. Some impressive pavilions this year included Cassina’s recreation of the Rietveld Pavillion built in Holland in the 1955. Also impressive was Kartell’s “Talking Minds,” where each designer had his or her own “room” with video interviews playing on loop explaining the inspiration and methodology behind the designs, Arper’s carefully curated color stories, and Dedon’s verdant “Jungalow.” Cosentino’s creative rooms around the world by Canadian studio Ciccone Simone, complete with a full cafe serving up drinks and charcuterie. Salone Satellite was another must-see for the AN team, see our write up on it here. Also, don't miss our trend-spotting article on the Salone's chromatic glass.

Spazio Orlandi

A must-see for all, Rossana Orlandi’s gallery features a wide range of up-and-coming and independent designers from around the globe. This year, Spazio Orlandi was accompanied by Marta Di Bibendum next door where AirBnB and Ambra Medda hosted the extremely popular Makers and Bakers event. The entire café was furnished with the designs for people to use as they ate in the café. Norwegian Gallerie S.e. also hosted a minimal space with luxurious furniture in rich metals and velvet. Incredible designers such as Maarten BaasPiet Hein Eek, Yukiko Nagai, Alcarol, and Nika Zupanc.

Triennale

Set in Milan’s Sempione park, this year’s XXI Triennale theme "21st Century: Design After Design" was interpreted into exhibits such as Stanze (Rooms), Architecture as Art, Neo Preistoria, La Metropoli Multietnica, and more. We particularly enjoyed the Stanze at the Triennale musem, where visitors walked through a series of rooms designed by notable figures—Gio Ponti, Franco Albini, Carlo Mollino, Carlo Scarpa, Carlo De Carli, Vittoriano Viganò, Ettore Sottsass, Joe Colombo, etc—as well as newer architects, such as Andrea Anastasio, Fabio Novembre, Duilio Forte, Elisabetta Terragni, Carlo Ratti, and Francesco Librizzi. The focus was on Milan’s reputation as having architecture with plain exteriors and stunning interiors.

Atelier Clerici

Set in the stunning, hyper-elaborate rococo Clerici palazzo, young designers presented forward-thinking designs and concepts. RAM House by PROKOSS + Space Caviar offered a place to sit in the courtyard.

Inside the space, Aldo Bakker’s amorphous video installation Pause offered a preview of his upcoming retrospective at CID Grand-Hornu. SapienStone’s Smart Slab is an integrated cooktop design with technology that allows almost quarter-inch-thick stone to be heated, cooled, or transformed into a stovetop by touching the interactive surface. Textile brand Buro Belen used natural dyes that slowly change over time, reacting to touch, sun, and wear to show how materials interact with their users.

To learn more about some of the designers we saw at Atelier Clerci, don’t miss our upcoming May Interiors issue!

Valcucine at Brera Design District, Salone del Mobile 2016 from Architect's Newspaper on Vimeo.

Brera Design District

A sprawling neighborhood of showrooms for both furniture and fashion houses, a few Brera highlights included the incredible HAY market, a gymnasium with maze-like rooms packed out with the company’s wares. Hem presented a series of ice cream socials to celebrate Max Lamb’s new “Last Stool Splatter” collection. In addition there were works by Philippe Malouin, Karoline Fesser, and Studio DeFORM. The showrooms by Valcucine, DePadova, Boffi, Miele, Agape, Cappellini, Fantini, and more, opened their doors to display new designs and offer cocktails each night.

The Hotel Wallpaper in the Via San Gregorio arcade displayed collaborations among architects and designers to create a “hotel” with a bar, bedroom, bathroom, lounge area, and even a mini golf course created with thick Bolon fabric (a sponsor of the exhibit).

Via Tortona

Part block party, part exhibition space, Via Tortona hosted the SuperDesign Show and a gamut of events featuring designs by major brands and designers, such as Marcel Wanders, Naoto Fukasawa, and Maarten Baas.

The SuperDesign Show, 10,000 square meters of space, chose the theme White Pages, that according to the press release, “implies writing together the world waiting for us tomorrow…. An invitation to exhibit not only ready-to-use objects and proposals but also futuristic and experimental projects and to ‘narrate’ them to the public with words and installations in an ideal ‘white page.’”

COS X Fujimoto Forest of Light

Clothing and company COS collaborated with Sou Fujimoto for this room filled with fog, cones of light, and custom-made noises.

Spazio Lambrate

Located in a former gym in the north east Section of Milan, Spazio Lambrate features designers such as Roberto Negri, Arredi Siamo Scarti, Agostino Favarelli, and Laura Daza. It is part of a burgeoning creative district in Milan and we predict it will continue to be an important part of future saloni.

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Milan hops on the car-banning bandwagon with its own proposal to create zones of “pedestrian privilege”

Milan is the latest city to join the ranks of Paris, Madrid, Brussels, and Dublin in expelling cars from its smoggy, often gridlocked city center. Unlike its more zealous counterparts, the city has opted for an incremental approach, with no proposed timeline and a gradual, virtually street by street implementation. Despite taking things slow, deputy mayor Lucia di Cesaris stressed that the plan will amount to no less than a “soft revolution.” Earlier this month, she announced the pedestrianization of the Piazza della Scala, the grand square on which the Scala Opera House is located. Purging the square of vehicles will extend to the north the existing pedestrian zone in Milan’s heart, consisting of the Cathedral Square and the area around the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, the adjacent shopping arcade. After the Piazza della Scala joins up with this zone, the car-free area will extend into the streets beyond the square. Pedestrianization of this area, a hub for arts and culture venues, is a welcome move to transform it into a thriving, open-air promenade. Over on the city center’s southern edge, Navigli, one of Milan’s most romantic neighborhoods, is expanding its pedestrian area, creating a car-free bar and café quarter to add to the just-pedestrianized Piazza Missori nearby. Ultimately, the objective is what the deputy mayor calls “the creation of a vast area of pedestrian privilege.” Long beset by pollution problems, Milan has experimented with an array of schemes—from banning traffic altogether for 10 hours on a Sunday in February 2004 when smog levels exceeded the statutory maximum, to paying commuters to leave their cars at home and use public transportation. A coalition of Milanese companies sends drivers vouchers worth $1.87 (the average daily cost for using public transportation) for each day their vehicles stay in their driveways between the hours of 7:30am and 7:30pm. Dedicated “black boxes” installed behind vehicle dashboards track the car’s whereabouts to verify compliance. According to Inrix, a traffic information provider, Milan has the worst traffic of any city in Europe, and one of the highest pollution levels in the continent.
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Pictorial> Twenty-one of the best pavilions from Milan Expo 2015

Milano Expo 2015 is rolling along, with 145 countries and a host of international organizations, civil society organizations, and corporations displaying their food-centric traditions and the latest sustainable agriculture and food production techniques. AN reported on the Expo when it opened:

a handful of designs...stand out as attempts to rethink the way we build and how it relates to modern agriculture and sustainable food production for the next century. Most of the pavilions use sustainable materials and construction methods that utilize national building techniques. Inside, exhibitions—often interactive—showcase biodiversity, culture, and food traditions of each nation.

Beyond the focus on food and agriculture, there is also a wealth of eye-catching architecture at the Milan Expo as well. Here is a collection of some of our favorite pavilions from this year's rendition. And be sure to check out our coverage of the Expo here.
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AC Milan football club soon to call “world’s most innovative stadium” home

Italian football giant AC Milan is relocating to what the club purports as “the world’s most innovative stadium” in the city’s Portello area. The new mixed-use facility will be slightly over half the size of the team’s current 80,000-seater San Siro stadium, which it shares with fierce rival Intel. Flagging spectator turnout in recent years has incentivized several Italian football clubs to occupy downsized stadiums. In the 2013-14 season, AC Milan averaged just 40,061 spectators and half-empty bleachers. The club selected a design team consisting of architecture and design firm Arup and Italian architect Emilio Faroldi, who studied 70 stadia around the world as part of the design process, absorbing ideas from the Emirates Stadium in London, the St. Jakob-Park in Basel, and the new San Mames stadium in Bilbao. Given initial protests by Milan residents over the club’s relocation, Faroldi’s onus was to create a minimally invasive design with the aesthetic of a building rather than a hulking sports facility. Thus the first 33 feet of the stadium will be sunken underground, with the building peaking at just 98 feet. Aspiring towards a multi-use stadium that remains operational on non-matchdays like those in the UK, the facility will include a hotel, sports college, restaurants, courtyard and rooftop green areas, a children’s playground, and public art spaces. “Scientific research, through a series of studies, tell us clearly that the role of arenas in Europe and the world is gradually changing,” Faroldi told Italy’s La Gazetta dello Sport. “The stadiums are no longer meant just as a place for sporting events, although open all week, but as a useful piece to reorder the outlook of a neighborhood, a city.” The architect aimed for fewer turnstiles and fewer barriers between fans and the stadium, proposing to supplement these distancing reinforcements with heightened security. AC Milan recently mobilized to tout the benefits of the new stadium to the public, such as escalated land value and the creation of 1,000 jobs during construction and 500 jobs thereafter. The club emphasized the incorporation of state-of-the-art sound-proof materials for near-zero noise pollution and minimal visual impact, as well as the stadium’s integration with public transportation systems. AC Milan hopes to move into its new stadium by the beginning of the 2018–19 Series A season.