“Skyscraper Age”: an exhibition about the history of the Pirellone, Milan’s iconic tower

The exhibition, part of the Triennale di Milano, is divided into four areas representing the different stages of the building’s history: its concept design and construction, its transition into public hands, the devastating accident of 2002 and its new life as a social center of the Region of Lombardy.

 

Pirelli Tower at night © Publifoto Fondazione Pirelli

Pirelli Tower at night © Publifoto Fondazione Pirelli

 

Organized in collaboration with La Triennale di Milano, the 26th floor of the Pirelli Tower (now belonging to the Lombardy Region as a multipurpose building) is holding an exhibition about the tower, its history and its impact on Milanese society.

The exhibition, curated by Alessandro Colombo,  is divided into four areas representing the different stages of the building’s history: its concept design and construction, its transition into public hands, the devastating accident of 2002 and its new life as a social center of the Region of Lombardy.


 

Practical Information

L’età del grattacielo. Skyscraper Age.
26 May – 11 September 2016
Pirelli Tower
Via Fabio Filzi, 22,
20124 Milano, Italy

 


Under the name of “Skyscraper Age“, the exhibition offers photographs, plans, drawing and short movie clips to better understand the history and complexity of this icon of Milanese architecture.

 

Construction. Pirelli Tower, 1958 © Publifoto Fondazione Pirelli

Construction. Pirelli Tower, 1958 © Publifoto Fondazione Pirelli

Construction. Pirelli Tower, 1958 © Publifoto Fondazione Pirelli

Construction. Pirelli Tower, 1958 © Publifoto Fondazione Pirelli

 

THE HISTORY OF THE PIRELLI TOWER IN 4 STAGES

As explained by the curator Alessandro Colombo, the “Skyscraper Age” (the title of the exhibition) is the 4 main steps through which the life and history of the first 60 years of the Pirelli Building has been marked.

The “first age” corresponds to the conception and construction of the new administrative headquarters of the Pirelli company on what was the former production site of Brusada, which was heavily damaged by the war. The long and complex design process lasts more than the actual construction period, which ends in just four years, from 12 July 1956 to 4 April 1960 – giving evidence of extraordinary technical and organizational skills.

Having received no attention from architecture critics, the skyscraper is, however, rapidly “adopted” by the Milanese and carefully watched by the world to the point of becoming inspiration for other tall buildings. The life of the company in the building is intense but only short.

 

Construction. Pirelli Tower, 1958 © Publifoto Fondazione Pirelli

Construction. Pirelli Tower, 1958 © Publifoto Fondazione Pirelli

 

After the first 10 years we enter in the nineteen seventies – a decade that will lead the passage of the Pirelli Tower into public hands as the seat of the Lombardy Region: this is the “second age” that we find in the exhibition that, through the illustration of several interventions, especially in the interiors, brings us to the threshold of the new millennium and the terrible plane crash in 2002 that disrupted the life of the Pirelli Tower (the “third age”). It is a dramatic moment that records the loss of human lives, but also forces us to conceive and design a future for the skyscraper in Milan.

The “fourth age” is the rebirth of the building, which thanks to a successful design strategy, is restored and preserved perfectly to deliver this Italian masterpiece of modern architecture to the new generations, by opening it to all the citizens of Lombardy as a multipurpose building.

 

Gio Ponti, Pier Luigi Nervi, Pirelli Tower, 1958. Section © Publifoto Fondazione Pirelli

Gio Ponti, Pier Luigi Nervi, Pirelli Tower, 1958. Section © Publifoto Fondazione Pirelli

 

The four ages are “physically” set up in four areas identified by four symbolic images that greet visitors to the 26th floor, the “floor of memory”, host of the 2002 incident.

The route around the exhibition is free, walking along a series of panels reminiscent of the verticality of the building, offering photographs, drawings, documents and quotations that illustrate the first sixty years of the Pirelli life. For each of the “four ages” it is also possible to watch movies and video clips that help to understand the most significant moments.

 

Gio Ponti, Pier Luigi Nervi, Pirelli Tower, 1958. Ground floor and upper plan © Publifoto Fondazione Pirelli

Gio Ponti, Pier Luigi Nervi, Pirelli Tower, 1958. Ground floor and upper plan © Publifoto Fondazione Pirelli

 

The exhibition, organized and staged in collaboration with “La Triennale di Milano” is inserted in the circuit of exhibitions that can be visited during the six months of Expo Design 2016. It  will be open to the public and can be visited from May 26 to ’11 September, Monday to Friday during the following hours 9: 30-12: 30 and 14: 30-16: 30 (last admission from via Fabio Filzi 22 at 16:00).

 

Construction. Pirelli Tower, 1958 © Publifoto Fondazione Pirelli

Construction. Pirelli Tower, 1958 © Publifoto Fondazione Pirelli

 

Admission is free but reservations are required. Please fill in the form contained in the section dedicated to the exhibition on www.consiglio.regione.lombardia.it Site visits have a duration of 25 minutes.


 

News source:  Triennale di Milano
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