Horizontal tower

Milan, Italy

Horizontal tower
Milan, Italy

International Award “The Chicago Athenaeum” for “Best global project” (2011)
RE Awards for “Best directional project” (2009)

program: New Sviluppo Sistema Fiera spa directional buildings in Rho, Milan gross floor area: 21 000 sqm
built area: 4 800 sqm
client: Sviluppo Sistema Fiera spa
Alfonso Femia / Atelier(s) Alfonso Femia with Pietri architectes
roads and infrastructures, structural engineering: IQuadro Ingegneria
services engineering: AI Engineering, AI Studio
contractor: Italiana Costruzioni spa
photos: ©E.Caviola
ceramic model: Danilo Trogu
book: “In the mood for love”
“The new building is characterised by the colour gold, whose preciousness refers to the theme of sunlight and its reflections, the capacity to create an atmosphere of transparency, opacity, reflections and semi-transparencies with its surroundings, within the territorial perspectives crossing the area at different speeds and at all times of day.” AF
From dawn to dusk. On open land natural light becomes a means of transforming perceptions of either a natural or manmade landscape. Within the peculiar setting of the Trade Fair, a horizon within which light is incorporated and reflected amidst whites, greys and specks of colour, it can become a shimmering material flowing from north to south and from east to west, underlining the intense colour of dawn and dusk. The new building is defined by a golden colour, with sunlight and its reflections enhancing its beauty and creating a sense of transparency, opacity, reflections and semi-transparencies within its setting and the various territorial perspectives crisscrossing the area at different speeds and at all times of day. Shades of gold mixed with the whites of the interiors making the elevations appear endless in the morning and evening or, in other words, at those times of day when light strikes the main walls and its physical bounds can no longer be perceived as it blends in with natural light. A black base and a green top frame a perceptual and emotional mechanism which oneirically evokes the use of gold in Italian painting from Beato Angelico to Kounellis on the present-day scene.

> The Horizontal Tower: Interview in the construction site with Alfonso Femia