a new shopping district in northern italy has opened as part of milan’s citylife development. the vast project, which will fully complete in 2020, is transforming a disused site into a new neighborhood that features buildings by daniel libeskind and andrea maffei, among others. having already designed one of the site’s tre torri, or three towers, zaha hadid architects (ZHA) has now opened a 32,000 square meter shopping district, whose composition continues the geometries of the connecting 44-storey generali tower.

zaha hadid generali tower citylife shopping district
all images © hufton + crow



located above tre torri station on the M5 line of milan’s metro network, the new shopping district integrates a new public park with indoor and outdoor piazzas, food hall, restaurants, cafés, shops, and a cinema as well as health and well-being facilities. the complex, which hopes to welcome seven million annual visitors by the time citylife is complete, sits at the base of the ZHA-designed ‘generali tower’. set to become occupied in 2018, the skyscraper’s geometries are aligned with the city’s axes at street level, but twist incrementally as the tower rises, orientating its higher floors to face milan’s famed cathedral.

zaha hadid generali tower citylife shopping district
within the shopping district, bamboo is used to establish a welcoming environment



within the shopping district, bamboo flooring, ceiling, and columns establish a welcoming environment for visitors. selected by the design team for its warmth and tactility, engineered bamboo is extremely durable and can be procured in a large quantity from sustainable sources. assembled with resins under high pressure, engineered bamboo blocks were carved by 5-axis CNC milling and hand-finished to create the interior columns, capitals, and counters. see designboom’s ongoing coverage of the citylife development here.

zaha hadid generali tower citylife shopping district
the material was chosen for its warmth and tactility

zaha hadid generali tower citylife shopping district
engineered bamboo blocks were carved and hand-finished to create the interior columns

zaha hadid generali tower citylife shopping district
the scheme comprises a food hall, restaurants, cafés, and shops

zaha hadid generali tower citylife shopping district
the complex hopes to welcome seven million annual visitors by 2020

zaha hadid generali tower citylife shopping district
skylights help illuminate the subterranean complex

zaha hadid generali tower citylife shopping district
the new shopping district spans 32,000 square meters

zaha hadid generali tower citylife shopping district
staff will begin moving into the neighboring tower in 2018



project info:


architects: zaha hadid architects (ZHA)
design: zaha hadid with patrik schumacher
ZHA project director: gianluca racana
ZHA project associate: paolo zilli
ZHA project architect: andrea balducci caste


ZHA site supervision team: andrea balducci caste, pierandrea angius, vincenzo barilari, stefano paiocchi


ZHA design team: h. goswin rothenthal, carles s. martinez, gianluca barone, giuseppe morando, letizia simoni, arianna russo, annarita papeschi, fulvio wirz, marco amoroso, mario mattia, roberto vangeli, luciano letteriello, marco guardincerri, marina martinez, alvin triestanto, subharthi guha, massimo napoleoni, massimiliano piccinini, kyle dunnington, luis miguel samanez, santiago f. achury, martha read, peter mccarthy, line rahbek, matteo pierotti, raquel ordas, alexandra fisher, sara criscenti, mattia santi, shahd abdelmoneim, cristina capanna, alessandra catello, agata banaszek


ZHA competition team: simon kim, yael brosilovski, adriano de gioannis, graham modlen, karim muallem, daniel li, yang jingwen, tiago correia, ana cajiao, daniel baerlecken, judith reitz


management: j and a/ramboll
structural: AKT (SD), redesco (DD-construction podium and tower), holzner and bertagnolli + cap (basement)
M+E: max fordham + manens-TIFS
specifications: building consulting
façade: ARUP
elevators: jappsen ingenieure
fire: mistretta

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