The commercial and residential development of CityLife in Milan began when the Fiera Milano, an exhibition space of trade-fair pavilions, was relocated to the outskirts of the city in 2005.  The design for the space provided for half of the 366,000 square-meter site to contain landscaped parkland dedicated to pedestrians and bicycles around a central grand piazza.  At its center are three commercial towers, all designed by world-renowned architects, surrounded by residential buildings.


Zaha Hadid’s tower twists as it rises, with its floor plates rotating around a central core.  Hadid also designed one of the two residential developments of the site, consisting of seven buildings surrounding a courtyard.  The second residential area was created by Daniel Libeskind, whose vision contrasted Hadid’s by designing the residences as a collection of angular blocks.  The Isozaki Tower, meant to be the tallest skyscraper in Italy, was designed by Arata Isozaki and Andrea Maffei.  Sitting beside it is the third tower, with a curving design by Libeskind.


Daniel Libeskind described the site as “curving bands of lawn alternating with forest, with groups of commercial and residential structures floating like archipelagos amid the greenery”.  Due to the creation of the parkland in highly developed central Milan, the surrounding streets enter into the area only as pedestrian paths.  To ensure cars are invisible in CityLife, they drive underground to below-grade parking lots.





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