First stop in our itinerary on Gae Aulenti is Piazzale Cadorna in front of the train station, near the Castello Sforzesco.
During the 90s’ it already was a crossroad of 2 underground lines, trams, buses and train lines and she was assigned the enormous task of modernizing it; her international look transformed it in a colorful hub with wide sidewalks, red columns, green panels and glass roofs, and already back then, “it didn’t look like you were in Milano at all”.
It was Gae who wanted to include the fountains and the imposing, innovative sculpture of the Ago, Filo e nodo (Thread, Needle And Knot), apparently divided into two parts (a train entering an underground gallery), yet rich in symbols paying tribute to Milano.
The two parts actually ideally reunite in the underground, reminding the metro as a symbol of a city running fast: the red-green-yellow thread, has indeed the same colors that indicate the three underground lines existing in Milan at the time.
And the thread and needle recall the working spirit of the Milanese in the world of fashion, that has made the city famous worldwide.
But when you say “Gae Aulenti” in Milano, by now you think about the new millennium square, inaugurated and named after her in 2012, the year she died: the symbol of one of the most important European urban requalification projects in the Porta Nuova district, between the Garibaldi Station and Isola, where the square is rediscovered as a meeting point for the Milanese to socialize.
Inserted between the city skyline, a refuge softening the noise of the streets with the flowing of the fountains’ water, the over 6-meter gap and a long sculpted bench to stop by for a break.