MILAN – Since 1906, the Fiera Milano grounds have hosted a large complex for events, conferences and exhibitions. Rich in culture and history, the site has undergone one of the largest redevelopments in Europe with the opening of the CityLife shopping centre designed by Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA). The highly anticipated project – projected to bring in seven million visitors annually – conveys a renewed sense of identity to Milan’s new hub for mixed-use living.
The interior design takes a warm and welcoming approach with large skylights and a gallery space clad with engineered bamboo. High-end and high-tech meet seamlessly in the luxurious finishes, as slats of extremely durable bamboo are assembled with resin under high pressure, carved by 5-axis CNC milling and hand-finished to cover the ceiling, interior columns, capitals, and run onto counters around the shopping centre.
Fluid and organic, the three-storey interior shares a similar design language with the 44-storey Generali Tower it’s connected to – also designed by ZHA. Adding bamboo most certainly contributes sustainable qualities and improves the effective warmth of a space in response to the imposing strength of the curtain-walled residential tower above. Although it may be difficult to imagine this space as a site-specific design, the beautifully crafted interior can now be considered one of the city’s many must-see attractions.
The Piazza in front of the shopping gallery is designed by One Works and an open-air shopping street by Mauro Galantino fronts the complex.