CityLife Milan technical reviews




Martin Burden. Ramboll

Martin Burden

Consulting Director, Buildings
Tel: +44 7903 682 572
The 43 hectare CityLife development occupies the site of Milan’s former fairground and exhibition site (Fiera Campionaria). Its combination of residences, offices, retail space and a museum are arrayed around a large park — Europe’s biggest privately funded park development. We worked in collaboration with J&A Consultants on technical reviews of the architects’ schemes. Our combined refinements and suggestions produced savings sufficient to cover our fees five times over.

The project’s central square features three towers — Il Dritto (the straight one), Lo Storto (the twisted one) and Il Curvo (the curved one). Further buildings for the site are in development, and Ramboll's specialists are undertaking façade, geotechnical and fire technical reviews in addition to structures, for all the CityLife buildings.

Arata Isozaki & Andrea Maffei Associati designed the 50-storey Il Dritto, which has achieved a LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) ‘Gold’ rating, as defined by the USA’s green building council. It will be one of the tallest buildings in Italy at 202m, with a slender footprint of 65m x 25m. Offices will occupy 46 of its floors. The steel and concrete frame carries repeating modules of six floors, with curved double-glazed cladding on the two widest façades and glass elevators on the narrow ones.

Lo Storto, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, takes a vortex-like form, with a 35m rhomboid footprint. It is 190m high and has 43 storeys of retail and office space. It too has a LEED ‘Gold’ rating. ZHA also designed seven residential buildings of 5-13 floors, with covered terraces and curved balconies and roofs.

Studio Daniel Libeskind designed Il Curvo, plus the five-storey Museum of Contemporary Art and eight apartment blocks of 4-13 floors. Il Curvo is a steel structure clad in glass curtain walling, and it forms part of an imaginary sphere surrounding Piazza Tre Torri. Its two-storey foyer connects to the M5 metro station and a shopping mall. It is some 150m tall with 34 floors of offices. The museum and the residences are all concrete structures with stone cladding.

Italian and European construction standards have been used. Our Italian-speaking engineers reviewed all aspects of the design and advised on transport, structures, M&E, façades, acoustics, lifts and fire safety. The designers then liaised with the local authorities. Work began in December 2006, following a positive environmental impact assessment in 2005, and a permanent observatory (Osservatorio Ambientale Permanente) was set up in January 2007 to handle the environmental components of the scheme.