‘white wave’ by piuarch flows through milan neighborhood
all images courtesy of studio piuarch






in the porta nuova district of milan, italy, a number of buildings have been completed as part of an urban renewal project; however ‘white wave’ by piuarch, differs from the other nearby skyscrapers, with a distinctive singular form that draws attention to the structure stretching 140 meters. piuarch has achieved their goal of revitalizing the area around three neighborhoods, by creating an element of urban fabric that was not present for over thirty years. the five-story office park will also house showrooms, and is situated between a central plaza and cesar pelli’s three towers. the site shapes the curve of the complex providing an entrance at two varying levels, and each expanse of the 30-meter tall structure is characterized with differing façades.
the ‘white wave’ snakes between a residential housing typology and a growing development






the northern façade, overlooks the plaza with large glass windows that reflect the pedestrian area and delivers views to newly formed spaces of porta nuova. facing the road, the southern edge concaves towards via don luigi sturzo with a curved profile that is partially screened. vertically placed slits regulate interior light, and colored windows are dispersed to frame an internal system of meeting halls. acting as a podium amid two elevations, the building is unified by the bending portico which sits a top the storefronts, and shelters a walkway with an overhanging roof. respecting the heights of the adjacent homes, ‘white wave’, is a contemporary approach in the continuous development of the city, and has been a symbol of new milanese architecture.

the northern plaza approach to the building is decorated with fountains






piuarch has been awarded the ‘italian architect of 2013’ as cino zucchi, spokesperson of the national council of architects (italy), explains ‘piuarch works in italy and abroad on different themes and scales – from interiors to urban design – shows a very good example of how great architectural and urban qualities can be pursued by dealing with the forces that are driving today the transformation of the environment.’

large windows are stacked on top each other grasping light and reflecting activity


the southern façade is more private with spaced divisions and hued windows to highlight certain areas


evening photo of the convexing exterior of the ‘white wave’


night photograph of the street level at the south-side entrance showing the various glowing rooms


detail of the bending southern façade



sketch of the ‘white wave’


façade detail




project info:


architect: piuarch
client: hines italia sgr s.p.a.
location: milano, italia
client: hines italia sgr s.p.a.
invited competition: first prize
typology: offices – stores
built area: 22.500 mq
year: 2006–2013
design team: francesco fresa, germán fuenmayor, gino garbellini and monica tricario  
architectural construction: tekne s.p.a.
structural design: msc associati s.r.l.
mechanical and engineering  design: ariatta ingegneria dei sistemi s.r.l.
landscape design: land s.r.l.