renzo piano: masterplan for the ex falck area, milan
renzo piano: masterplan for the ex falck area, milan renzo piano: masterplan for the ex falck area, milan
may 06, 2013

renzo piano: masterplan for the ex falck area, milan

visualization of renzo piano’s masterplan for the ex-falck area in milanrendering by frédéric terreaux © renzo piano building workshop





milan has historically been home to some of the world’s most recognized brands. being the hub of fabrication for many of them, the city now finds itself with decommissioned factories, closed, abandoned and often times forgotten, leaving a considerable amount of space unusable and often times unsightly. the falck steel plant of sesto san giovani in northern milan is one such place, leaving behind many aged social housing units, an industrial skeleton, and a greying landscape. renzo piano has recently been given legal rights to the 1.3 million square-meter site where he plans to restore it as a vibrant place for the community, complete with a museum, library, research centers, universities, homes, shops, and a 1 million square-meter park tying it all together – slated for completion by 2018. the master plan follows a bi-axial concept whereby the north-south axis (dubbed the ‘rambla’) will contain commercial and residential program and will add approximately 1270 new housing units. the east-west datum will host the public functions mentioned above, merged with a newly green landscape. the rambla will feature a series of towers ranging between 40 and 90 meters tall, elevated on columns  above the ground with hanging green gardens clad in terracotta-colored tiles.


a project of this size must also take energy use and infrastructure into account if it is to be successful. the entire campus is designed to be autonomouslypowered, relieving the grid of more energy loads. connections with various parts of the city will also be improved; a redesigned train station will better linkto existing public transport services and the ‘elf’ – alternative energy vehicles – will be introduced as a new means of low-capacity mobility.




street view visualization of commercial and residential buildingsrendering by frédéric terreaux © renzo piano building workshop



masterplanrendering by stefano goldberg © renzo piano building workshop



ground plan© renzo piano building workshop



site plan© renzo piano building workshop



site diagramdrawing by stefano goldberg © renzo piano building workshop



documentation of the current state of the ex-falck area© renzo piano building workshop



the industrial area will be revitalized with private, commercial and public programs© renzo piano building workshop



© renzo piano building workshop



© renzo piano building workshop



© renzo piano building workshop



model of the ex-falck sitephoto by michael denancé © renzo piano building workshop




  • What a terrific project! One comment: the summary on the email (“the leftover industrial memory will be transformed in the next 5 years into a green master plan with commercial, residential, and social functions that will enliven the area” is nonsensical. What is a “leftover industrial memory”?

    Mac McDougal says:
  • i have a lot of respect for Mr Piano but i’m not really convinced by this. Although it is an attempt at direction for what appears to be a struggling post industrial area, how is this in any way Italian? How is it Milan? I guess its never had that distinctiveness judging by the amount of industrial stuff there, but why is this scheme different to anything else that is being shown for the mega cities in China or south america or elsewhere?

    This kind of Modernist masterplan is not a good thing and whilst i;m sure Renzo will not fall for the traps of Le Courbusier, i have serious concerns about some of the suggested blocks and the symetricality, scale, glass/steel inevitable design solution!

    Surely a better model would be to look at new ownership and financing models, (self build for instance!?), move away from the standard ‘it is modern cos its tall and glazed!’ and actually inject some care and character into this area! Why not use some local materials?! I’m not sure whether the huge industrial sheds can be used, but why not!? conference centre? tourist attractions….how about new industry…base the future of this place on its past, that is surely the Italian tradition!?

    Honestly this scheme looks very dated already.

    Theurbanglow says:

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