f Piazza Duomo is the historic heart of Milan then Piazza Gae Aulenti represents the new face of the city, the symbol of a metropolis that is changing and looking ahead to the future.
The Piazza sits at the heart of the Porta Nuova development, the urban renovation of the Garibaldi, Isola and Varesine districts: a circular piazza of about 80 mts in diameter with a surface area of 2,300 m2, it is raised 10 mts above ground with three intermediate levels (underground station, parking, retail).
Designed by the Argentine architect Cesar Pelli as a stunning new gateway to Milan, it was inaugurated on December 8th, 2012 and dedicated to the architect and designer Gae Aulenti. A significant accolade to a woman who, thanks to her extraordinary creative talent, managed to distinguish herself in times, and in a profession, that was predominantly male.
Paved with slate, it is surrounded by two levels of canopies in iron, wood and glass built in accordance with the principles of eco-sustainability; it is covered with solar panels that provide power for the three adjacent towers. The piazza is enhanced by three circular infinity fountains surrounded by a 105 metre flowing circle of curved seating in stone grit and porticoes that adorn the underlying walkways and shop windows.
‘Egg’, the first permanent urban installation by Alberto Garutti in Milan, is at the foot of the Unicredit Tower: 23 tubes in chromed brass, a work that dialogues with the contiguous architecture and vertically links all the levels of the piazza.
By night the cascading fountains are illuminated with vibrant colours and the LED Solar Tree also lights up after dark by using solar energy stored during the day.