An International Architectural Competition was launched by COIMA SGR (real estate Company) and Municipality of Milan on 25 November 2019. The total numbers of entries received were 70 from 359 studios across 15 countries. The winner of this Competition is the entry by Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Stefano Boeri Architetti. The main objective of this competition was the project of revival of abandoned buildings in Milan, Italy and this is the first step of the whole project. The buildings were abandoned by the Milan Municipality in March 2015 and this initiative will be an important part of the future redevelopment of Milan, Italy.
The key issues indicated by the organizers’ were:
- Redevelopment of parts of Library of Trees
- Expansion of pedestrian walkways to the North, Central Station, and Farini Airport.
- Adaptive reuse of existing structures
- Relation with cultural importance along with redevelopment
The Jury members for the competition were Gregg Jones, Alberto Artioli, Nicolo Di Blasi, Manfredi Catella, Gabriele Bonfiglioli, Matteo Rava and Ettore Nobili.
The winning entry by Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Stefano Boeri Architetti adhere harmoniously to the guidelines given by the organizers. Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS +R) is an architectural firm in New York City that focuses on Cultural and Civic projects. The firm is currently led by four partners viz. Elizabeth Diller, Ricardo Scofidio, Charles Renfro, and Benjamin Gilmartin. Stefano Boeri Architetti is based in Milan, Italy led by Stefano Boeri.
The firm works majorly in the regeneration and redevelopment of urban areas in Milan. The unique combination of both these firms will play a significant role in defining the upcoming language for redevelopment projects.
The proposal by Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Stefano Boeri Architetti is based upon the mixed-use of spaces. Some important aspects are:
- Thoughtful Adaptive Reuse: Instead of a completely new construction or demolishing the existing buildings adaptive reuse is given preference by the winners to keep the identity of the structures enacted.
- Bridge Building: A new hub for multiple activities will be created by reorganizing the “Wall” via Melchiorre Gioia.
- New Residential Tower: A 1,700 square meters of vegetation apparently color-changing flora and fauna to be distributed in this new residential tower to be constructed.
- Sustainable and Green Design solutions: The complete proposal is kept to be environmentally suitable with care taken to make it as sustainable as possible.
Both the firms were much excited upon winning this prestigious competition and for the upcoming collaborative work in the future. Elizabeth Diller, Partner at Diller Scofidio + Renfro said, “Our studio is thrilled to have this opportunity to make a meaningful architectural contribution to the city of Milan, our first project in Italy. As much of our work focuses on the future of cities, the Pirelli 39 project presents a great opportunity to develop a new model of mixed-use development and sustainable urban growth. The project combines the adaptive reuse of heritage buildings with environmentally responsible new construction and a vibrant ‘living’ cultural destination devoted to the art and science of plants.”
Stefano Boeri, Founder of Stefano Boeri Architetti added: “This project will reinvigorate the iconic former Pirellino building, creating a new tower that mixes architecture and nature to create a green space that is open to the whole city. In such a difficult period, this project relaunches the vision of a forward-looking Milan and bravely faces the great challenges of the climate crisis.”