See the high architecture of Milan

Once a year we are inundated with furniture and design during the Il Salone Furniture Fair. But Milan also features some interesting architecture, especially in recent times. In this newsletter,
I will present some of Milan’s high points that I photographed during design week.

Click on any images to view a larger version with more details.

Torre UniCredit

Torre UniCredit is the headquarters of Italy’s largest bank and a central part of the extensive Porta Nuova project. The goal was to update the area around Garibaldi Central Station with a new modern city district. The project lasted 2005-2015 and was Europe’s largest construction site at the time.

Architect Cesar Pelli is the designer of the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, which when completed in 1998 was the world’s tallest building at 452 meters. The Torre UniCredit building was completed in 2011 and with its full height of 231 m, it can be compared to three of Stockholm’s Globe Arenas stacked on top of each other.

Bosco Verticale

Bosco Verticale means “vertical forest” and is also part of the Porta Nuova project. The two residential buildings, measuring 112 m and 80 m, were designed by Boeri Studio - Stefano Boeri, Gianandrea Barreca and Giovanni La Varra.

The facades are covered by terraces with 2,000 plant species that have been carefully selected by agronomists Laura Gatti and Emanuela Borio to cope with a city life at higher elevations. In addition to the green plants, there are deciduous species that change the towers’ colors with the seasons.

The plants together correspond to 20,000 sqm of forest but they are far from just a design feature. The vertical forest creates a micro-climate that dampens noise and purifies the air from dust and carbon dioxide. It also helps to reduce the buildings’ heating and cooling costs.

If you can spare 6 minutes, you can see the video “How Do They Do It?” that provides a description of the construction project.


Milan’s most prominent landmark still is the Neo-Gothic Duomo Cathedral. It was under construction from 1386 to 1965 when the last entrance was opened. For nearly 600 years 77 different architects worked in succession to complete the 108 m high building that accommodates 40,000 people. After the official opening, the building has undergone regular renovations. For Expo Milano 2015, the church received new lighting, both inside and outside.

To the left above the main entrance to the Duomo is the statue, “The New Law”, which causes many passersby to stop. It was created in 1810 by Camillo Pacetti, and is said to have inspired Frederic August Bartholdi when he designed, “The Statue of Liberty”, located in New York’s harbor. They both embody the ideal of freedom. A little further down you will find a picture of the Duomo statue; do you see the resemblance?
Do you live in a house - old, new, high or low - that you want to present, please get in touch!

Lasse Olsson Photo photographs interiors, architecture and lighting. My newsletter is published 6-8 times a year. It presents photographed projects, news from the world of photography, and reports from furniture fairs in Stockholm and Milan.