Sixty years have gone by since the cornerstone was laid for the Pirelli Skyscraper in Milan, nicknamed the Pirellone, and an exhibition and convention celebrate the anniversary as part of the calendar of events of 21st Century. Design After Design, the 21st International Exposition at Triennale di Milano.
Original materials and pictures represent the sixty-year history of the Pirelli Skyscraper, a masterpiece of Italian Rationalism and an icon of modern architecture worldwide, designed by Gio Ponti (with Giuseppe Valtolina, Pier Luigi Nervi, Antonio Fornaroli, Alberto Rosselli, Giuseppe Rinardi, Egidio Dell'Orto) and built between 1956 and 1961 on the site of the former Pirelli factory, destroyed by bombs in the Second World War.
A long history in which the building has gone from industrial symbol, as the seat of tyre manufacturer Pirelli, to institutional headquarters and local landmark. The Region of Lombardy purchased the building in 1978 and made it into its headquarters following a renovation project by Bob Noorda. 127 metres high with 31 floors above ground plus 2 underground levels, the building held the record as the tallest skyscraper in Milan until the 2010 construction of Palazzo Lombardia, the new headquarters of the regional government. Its long history has included some dramatic moments: on April 18 2002 a small tourist plane crashed into the 26th floor, causing a huge fire, after which the skyscraper underwent a major “modern restoration” completed in 2005.
Exhibition title “The Age of the Skyscraper”
curator Alessandro Colombo with Paola Garbuglio, Francesca Rapisarda
Installation design by Studio Cerri & Associati, Pierluigi Cerri, Alessandro Colombo
Images courtesy of Triennale di Milano