Initiated in 2004, CityLife is a new district in Milan that has rehabilitated the former exhibition centre (Fiera di Milano) to combine offices, a shopping centre, and a residential complex. All are imagined by the most renowned architects on the international scene.
This spectacular revitalisation of the Lombard metropolis (366,000m2) is one of the most ambitious urban projects in Europe over the past 20 years. The existing site is the work of three world-famous offices. The three towers were carried out respectively by Studio Libeskind, Zaha Hadid Architects and Arata Isozaki.
In 2021, the construction of a fourth building began. This one, named CityWave, was entrusted to the Danish BBjarke Ingels. This time it is a duo of low-rise office buildings linked by a spectacular 200-metre-long canopy. This canopy in the symbolic shape of a wave – hence the name CityWave – will protect one of Italy’s largest outdoor urban parks. The glass roof will offer the Milanese a shaded and sheltered space that will host the social and cultural life of this new dynamic district of the city. This high-tech roof will also be covered with 11,000m2 of solar panels.
An office building that challenges industry standards
CityWave will be “the first office building to go beyond zero impact”, according to its designers. It will be exclusively powered by renewable sources. In addition to its massive network of photovoltaic panels, the roof structure will also make it possible to collect and reuse rainwater. At the same time, part of the building’s water will be heated by geothermal energy. The building should consume 45% less energy than traditional offices from its inauguration onwards, thanks to these environmentally sustainable solutions.
“It will be a symbol of the Milan we dream of: sustainable, international, beautiful”, declared the mayor of the city. The reception of this development, whose budget is 2.5 billion euros, is scheduled for 2025.