CityLife Tower

Andrea Maffei Architects as Architects

The tower designed by Arata Isozaki and Andrea Maffei as part of the redevelopment programme of the historical trade fair area in Milan commissioned by the company Citylife will reach a height of 207 meters in 2015, and will be the tallest in Italy.

The skyscraper, comprised of a modular system that can in theory repeat indefinitely, has six office floors in each of the eight modules clad with a double-glazed glass skin. The vertical continuation of the modules, slightly convex, has been designed to create the concept of a tower without end. Four slanted “struts” help to support the tower along the two main façades (reducing, among other things, the bulk of the load-bearing structures in the internal space) and act as one of the bracing systems.

“In our archipelago of forms – explains Andrea Maffei – we found it interesting to develop the idea of a skyscraper without end, a sort of endless tower. We wanted to study a concept to be applied to the skyscraper, even before imagining its aesthetics. In the aspiration for maximum height, we chose to apply the concept of a modular system that could repeat indefinitely and seamlessly.”


TCa CityLife Tower, Milan, Italy




CityLife s.r.l., Milan, Italy


Arata Isozaki and Andrea Maffei

design team

Pietro Bertozzi, Takeshi Miura, Alessandra De Stefani, Chiara Zandri, Vincenzo Carapellese, Roberto Balduzzi, Francesca Chezzi, Takatoshi Oki, Stefano Bergagna, Paolo Evolvi, Elisabetta Borgiotti, Adolfo Berardozzi, Sofia Bedinsky, Atsuko Suzuki, Antonietta Bavaro, Carlotta Maranesi, Higaki Seisuke, Hidenari Arai / Andrea Maffei Architects s.r.l., Milan, Italy

structural engineering

Maurizio Teora (PD), Luca Buzzoni (PM), Matteo Baffetti / Arup Italia s.r.l., Milan, Italy Favero & Milan Ingegneria s.p.a., Mirano, Italy


Mikkel Kragh, Mauricio Cardenas, Matteo Orlandi, Maria Meizoso, Carlos Prada / Arup Italia s.r.l., Milan, Italy

mechanical systems

Gianfranco Ariatta, Roberto Menghini, Riccardo Lucchese, Andrea Ambrosi, Sylvia Zoppo Vigna / Ariatta Ingegneria dei sistemi s.r.l., Milan, Italy

fire control

Salvatore Mistretta, Milan, Italy

vertical infrastructures

Jappsen Ingenieure, Frankfurt, Germany

lighting design

LPA Light Planners Associates, Tokyo, Japan

sound engineering

Vernon Cole, Cole Jarman, Addlestone, Surrey, United Kingdom

project management

J&A, Milan, Italy

Ramboll, London, United Kingdom


Colombo Costruzioni, Milan, Italy


built surface for the tower: 81.615 mq

surface for parking areas (outdoors and underground): 44.485 mq.

maximum building height: 207 m

number of floors: 50

number of office floors: 46

number of work stations: 3864


competition: 2003 (results: 2004) / design: 2005-2011 / start of construction: 2012 / estimated completion: 2015

Citylife Piazza Tre Torri retail and plaza

One Works as Architects

Citylife is a redevelopment project in the heart of Milan where up until 2005 the City's Trade Fair operated. After having participated with the team headed by Gustafson Porter, and acclaimed winners, in the 2010 international design competition for the site's 168,000 sqm urban park, OneWorks was assigned the designing of the Piazza Tre Torri and the adjacent lower level shopping area. Part of the overall City Trade Fair Project, the plaza is located in the center of the three tertiary towers along the pedestrian pathway which links Largo Domodossola with the new city park. The double story plaza reveals itself at the two principle levels of the public domain, one being the towers' ground floor (+129) and the other in correspondence to the hypogean level (+122), acting as a junction between the park and the pedestrian axis Domodossola. Within the same design scope is the below ground parking (+117, +113) in addition to the basement levels of the Isozaki tower which connect the parking lots to the above commercial activity.

The revision of the plaza's layout stems from variations in its functional program, or rather of its spatial distribution, and the desire to create a single public place made up of two open spaces at different levels. The commerce articulation is strongly characterized in part by the fashion mall at the base of the Hadid tower; whereas the outdoor commercial activity is distributed around the plaza and along the pathway towards Piazza VI Febbraio. The retail, therefore, permitted the public square to further open itself up to the city and the surrounding park, thereby emphasizing the project's strong urban character well integrated into the metropolitan area.

The configuration of the public plaza highlights three important aspects. Firstly, the relationship between Citylife park's southern and northern parts, therefore between the present day Piazza Giulio Cesare and Via Domodossola. Secondly, the East-West relationship, which correlates Piazza VI Febbraio with the fashion mall and park to the west. Finally, the definition of the central Tre Torre Plaza as an urban fulcrum and integral part to the pathway system described. Furthermore, this horizontal movement flow network is superimposed by a vertical system which links all three towers at both their access levels, and the two public reference levels of the entire project, with the metro station.

The strong spatial articulation is resolved through large openings that overlook the hypogean plaza, freeing the view of the three towers from below and allowing for a direct integration with the same. The lower level, characterized by the ceilings' design that turns up into the large apertures and partly onto the blind facades between the windows, reinforces once again the continuity of place between the different levels.


Studio Daniel Libeskind as Publishers

In 2004 Studio Libeskind, in conjunction with Zaha Hadid Architects and Arata Isozaki & Associates, won the competition for a master plan to develop and reconnect the existing city fabric of Milan to an abandoned 61 acre site, formerly home to the Fiera Milano, the city’s historic fairgrounds. With a high-rise complex, 25-acre park, public piazza, and subway station slated for completion in 2016, the first housing parcels have been completed by Studio Libeskind and Zaha Hadid Architects. The Libeskind residences employ the classical courtyard configuration and naturalistic materials of an historic Milanese neighborhood, while presenting an asymmetrical layering of the façade. Ranging from villas to apartment blocks, the low-rise apartments are sited on the perimeter of the site to the south and rise towards the park to the north.

The facades are clad in a finely textured, light grey tile, developed for the project by the Italian tile company Casalgrande Padana. Undulating outdoor spaces create a rhythmic pattern and are draped with a brise soleils, made with new, highly-sustainable wood. Each building is topped off by double-height penthouses, conceived as villas, with generous terraces, luxury finishes and city views. Each of these “sky villas” has a completely unique geometry that accentuates the tops of the buildings, integrating the large-scale structures into the rich and varied surrounding urban fabric.

The five-building complex gently curves around an open courtyard with interwoven pedestrian paths that connect to the street, the park, and an underground parking structure. Conceived as an outdoor living room for residents to gather and relax, the courtyard’s tranquility is preserved by routing vehicular traffic on a loop at the outer edge of the site, which allows for direct access to the double height lobbies and leads to the private parking compartments. The Residences utilize state-of-the-art design and are certified by the Italian Building Energy Consumption (A+ Class – CENED). Sustainable features include, but are not limited to, thermally regulated radiant ceilings, energy efficient programmable heating and cooling systems, high-tech insulation, sustainable tiles, composite wood brise soleils, and photo-voltaic-cells on the roof to generate and store electrical energy.

The first five-buildings of phase one are complete and the second phase of three additional buildings, that will accommodate 125 units, is scheduled to be completed by 2017. “The buildings themselves create extra value by deserving to be part of the view. In contrast to the asphalted surroundings and vinyl-windowed cheapness of even high-end American developments, these assemblages dynamically engage the greenery and kaleidoscopically choreograph sun and shadow through the day. CityLife courtyards are worthy amenities, not parking-lot leftovers. American residential developers should take note: They could learn a thing or two from CityLife.” –James, Russell, Architect Magazine (May 2014)


Casalgrande Padana as Manufacturers

The development process involving the area formerly occupied by the Urban Milan Fair facility, promoted by CityLife, rests upon a number of projects designed by undisputed masters of architecture, including Zaha Hadid, Arata Isozaki and Daniel Libeskind. The masterplan was developed to ensure the articulate integration between public and private functions, residential solutions and offices, shopping centres and services, green areas and spaces for leisurely activities. The profile of the neighbourhood is enhanced by the 168,000-m2 public park – Milan’s third largest after Parco Sempione and Giardini Montanelli – that will fit perfectly in the city’s north-western green belt. The heart of CityLife is the spacious plaza at the very centre, with the three office towers developing around it. The area will also house a station along the newly built M5 underground line. Around the square, a commercial area with shops and quality services will liven up the entire complex throughout the day. South of the plot is where Hadid’s and Libeskind’s residential buildings lay. The two projects feature different architectural styles, though they share the same uncompromising quality, which rests not only on the finishes, but also in the innovative approach to spatial solutions, the pervasive use of home automation, the research for sheer comfort and high energy efficiency. The CityLife residences and offices mainly use renewable energy sources. District heating, fed by the Figino WTE plant, meets the requirements of the office towers and provides hot water to the apartments. In turn, ground water is used to feed the heat exchangers and heat pumps for heating and cooling in the apartments. Photovoltaic panels on the roof feed common services and reduce energy consumption remarkably.

Residenze Libeskind

For CityLife, besides one of the office towers, Daniel Libeskind also designed an eight-building residential complex divided in two areas. To do so, the analysed the open court model, and through a very personal reflection on the issue of volume segmentation and re-composition he managed to accomplish a balanced relation between the buildings and the surrounding context, between the rises and the wide green areas that surround and characterise the entire project. Libeskind’s residential complex is different in terms of typology, direction, position and height (from 4 to 13 floors) and feature two-room, three-room apartments and penthouses of varying surfaces, with living room areas being twice as high. All the apartments are designed to feature large glass surfaces and panoramic balconies overlooking the park and the city. Thanks to very sensible choices in terms of systems, the top-quality building solutions and the sophisticated façade system, the Residenze Libeskind project ensures high energy efficiency standards, so much that the apartments are energy Class A certified. The apartments are fitted with state-of-the-art home automation solutions, allowing to access the main functions through an integrated system.

Casalgrande Padana’s role

The Residenze Libeskind complex stands out in the Milanese urban landscape. Daniel Libeskind’s style stands out in particular in the façade, where the accurate use of ceramic material follows and emphasises the exuberant plasticity of the structure. True elements of his expressive language, stoneware slabs used for volume and surface cladding play a key role in the value of the whole project. The sophisticated dynamism of the perspective is defined by the modular pace of the ceramic envelope, which develops around the building. Performed consistently in every detail, the ventilated wall and balcony and terrace parapet installation followed a very precise and accurate process, based on the volume of the building and catering to the specific project requirements. The façade cladding employed 50,000 m2 of ceramic material supplied by Casalgrande Padana, designed and produced for the purpose and applied according to specific building indications, which required such technical solutions to meet high safety requirements. The outer wall envelope around the floors and the penthouse is made by a fibre cement panel to which the special stoneware slabs are secured by means of glue and special recessed mechanical hooks (Kerfix). The employed series are two: Granitoker line - Travertino Paradiso series in M8 grey, in the 30x90 and 60x90 cm sizes, and Granitogres line - Unicolore Bianco B Levigato series in the 22.5x90 cm size. The Travertino series slabs were used also for the terrace and balcony parapets and covers. In this case, the installation was performed directly onto the reinforced concrete structure, with the same glue and recessed mechanical fixing method. The ceramic elements are fixed onto the support by means of a double buttering technique: the glue is spread both on the back of the slab and on the reinforced concrete or fibre cement support. The recessed mechanical fixing is made with a metal hook (Kerfix) fitted and glued on the back of the ceramic slab, which was prepared beforehand with a suitable slot. Finally, the assembly is fitted onto the concrete support with nails or screws. The works completed to date involved 5 buildings of the Residenze Libeskind complex, for a total of 43 storeys above the ground, the penthouses and 362 balconies. In order to grasp the complexity involved in the cladding, it should be considered that, though all floors feature the same semi-spherical plan, those in each building are unique and different from the others. The same balconies are different and stand out for slanted surfaces and virtual continuity lines, which Libeskind studies to give the whole envelope surfaces a harmonic movement.

Travertino series

Specifically designed and produced for the Residenze CityLife project, the new Travertino series features the same properties as high technical and aesthetic content ceramic elements in the Granitoker line. Made with the latest technology applied to fully vitrified stoneware, this series features the coarseness, veneer, colour, texture and surface finish found on natural stone, while the performance is even better. Available in large 60x90 and 30x90 sizes, in M8 grey, these slabs stand out for high resistance to wear, shock, slip, stain and temperature shock. As the rest of the Casalgrande Padana products, the Travertino series stands out for its high environmental compatibility. Indeed, the company has always been committed to researching new technology and solutions to produce high performance, low environmental impact material, as the ISO 14001 and Emas standards testify.

Technical and performance characteristics Product type: Granitoker line. Classification: fully vitrified group B1a GL (UNI EN 14411, ISO13006). Sizes: cm 60x90 and sub-multiples. Thickness: 9.5 mm. Colours: M8 grey. Finish: natural and satin surface. Size and finish: minimum tolerance in 1st choice (UNI EN ISO 10545-2). Water absorption: ≤ 0.1% (UNI EN ISO 10545-3). Flexural resistance: N/mm2 50÷60 (UNI EN ISO 10545-4). Frost resistance: guaranteed (all standards). Chemical resistance (except hydrofluoric acid): no damages (UNI EN ISO 10545-13). Wear and abrasion resistance: high (UNI EN ISO 10545-7). Linear thermal expansion: 6x10-6 (UNI EN ISO 10545-8). Stain resistance: guaranteed (UNI EN ISO 10545-14). Light fastness: no variation (DIN 51094).

CityLife Shopping District

Zaha Hadid Architects as Architects

The CityLife Shopping District is opening, a new world of shopping and entertainment in the heart of Milan • 100 shops in an area of 32,000 square metres • Fashion, accessories, cosmetics, health, home care and technology become the beating heart of the exclusive commercial offer • A unique project, designed by prestigious firms of architects

The doors open tomorrow to the CityLife Shopping District, the largest and most innovative urban shopping district in Italy. It's ready to welcome visitors to a unique environment, with a distinctive commercial offer and attractions for your free time, for your well-being and for shopping: a new world in the heart of Milan. The pulsing soul of CityLife, the Shopping District will offer the catchment area of 700,000 people 100 units dedicated to shopping, dining, services, free time and entertainment, carefully selected by Sonae Sierra in line with the project's premium positioning and innovative context.

A mixed, high quality commercial offer CityLife Shopping District offers visitors the chance to meet numerous new brands to the Italian market and to rediscover other well-known and sought-after ones. In the segment dedicated to home and technology, there is Huawei's first European flagship store; shops for the home include HABITAT and Democracy Design. Among the brands in this segment, there is a major telephony player, R-store Apple Premium Reseller. The health and wellness segment boasts the world's first Nashi Argan salon, a place dedicated to looking after hair and skin, and the first beauty clinic, Juneco and Drogerie Markt (DM), specialising in things for you and your home, natural cosmetics and organic food products. There are many prestigious names found in the fashion and accessories sector including: Adele Altman, Adidas, Beatrice B, Chantelle Lingerie, Ck, Dixie, Foot Locker, Guess, Imperial, Incontri, Jacadi, Levi’s, Marella, MAX&Co, Midinette, Napapijri, Omai, Pandora, Paolo Tonali, Piquadro, Sophie 4 Kids, Superdry, Tommy Hilfiger and Timberland.

When it comes to the food segment, the Shopping District will be the Italian début for the Fresh Mex Calavera restaurant and the Roadhouse Meatery steak restaurant, two new and exclusive formats from the Roadhouse chain of the Cremonini group, and the East River – Brooklyn Brewery American bar, that can be found in the food hall in the covered mall. This zone features surprising architectural plays from the genius mind of Zaha Hadid, and opens directly onto the greenery of CityLife's park. CityLife Anteo will be at the centre of the entertainment offering in the Shopping District. Placed within the Mall, it will offer a programme of the very highest quality with its 7 screens and a total seating capacity of 1,200.

Armando Borghi, CEO at CityLife, said: “We are proud to announce the opening of the CityLife Shopping District. The most innovative commercial district in Italy that has food, fashion and entertainment and that integrates perfectly with the residential area and the tower offices that have been designed by three extraordinary architects. CityLife represents, even more so now, an example of how Milan can regenerate itself and offer a new way of city living.”

José Maria Robles, Property Director at Sierra Sierra Italia, added: “The CityLife commercial district, in addition to being in a truly fantastic location, is more than able to satisfy every visitor thanks to a wide, carefully selected choice of the best brand names, managing to anticipate the sector's trends through the presence of new operators to the shopping centre market. With a continuous commitment over time, CityLife Shopping District will continue to stand out on the market and to surprise clients at every visit thanks to its current tenant mix and a wealth of entertainment options throughout the year”.

A project designed by prestigious firms of architects The project's layout is based on three distinct architectural components: the shopping gallery over three storeys designed by Zaha Hadid Architects; the Tre Torri Piazza designed by One Works; and lastly an open-air pedestrian shopping street designed by the architect Mauro Galantino, a natural and symbolic entranceway to the Shopping District from the residential area and from the rest of the city. One other distinctive element is the CityLife park, the third largest in Milan, which spreads around the entire project and covers approximately 170,000 square metres, and will offer visitors a green space that is closed to traffic in which people can take a walk, relax, play games and rediscover nature in the heart of the city. The entire project is served by the new Purple (M5) metropolitan line, which stops at Tre Torri in the Piazza of the same name, as well as surface-level public transportation. Also available will be approximately 1,500 parking spaces for those wanting to reach the Shopping District by car.

Product Specifications
Casalgrande PadanaCasalgrande PadanaManufacturers
GeoplastGeoplastProtective barrier for basements - Defender
Jappsen Ingenieureelevator
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