Cover Picture © Credits to CEphoto / Uwe Aranas CC-BY-SA-3.0
Cover Picture © Credits to CEphoto / Uwe Aranas CC-BY-SA-3.0
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Milan's skyline: Torre Velasca

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Skyscrapers are the most vital elements in designing the skyline of a city. There are two ways in which architectural objects fit in this context: they either adapt to the surroundings or stand out completely. In the case of skyscrapers, the height itself is standing out while creating vertical points in the city. When we talk about elegant architecture, usually skyscrapers are the first to come to mind. Just look at the Generali tower by Zaha Hadid. When we say innovative, we can refer to Bosco Verticale and if we want to say smart and adapted, we will point to Torre Velasca.

This architectural gem is one of the first modern buildings in the city of Milan, and with its 100m height, we're witnessing a modern architectural masterpiece, erected in 1958.

Photo by © Milanodavedere / Franco Brandazzi
Photo by © Milanodavedere / Franco Brandazzi

Starting from the top, the upper third of the building, which protrudes outside the lower levels, was designed to associate to medieval watchtowers. Such defense towers were used in times of war to protect the Italian castles from attacks. Having in mind the ideas of the ancient architecture during the design process, the authors were able to connect the modern building to its historic past and keep the design of the new addition from falling out of context. It's all about adapting.

The tower’s stone material and its supporting beams, add stability to the projecting section and they look like they are directly inspired by Italy’s medieval defense towers. Gothic characteristics in the surroundings are also recognizable.

One of the characteristics of this modern building is that the schemes of windows, doors, and material are repeated rhythmically. Patterns are being created using empty walls, open windows, and reflective glass surfaces, where you normally have glass windows; this is the main trait of Torre Velasca.

Authors of this modern piece are BBPR (Banfi, Belgiojoso, Peressutti, Rogers), an Italian architectural partnership. Torre Velasca is a  reaction against the trend of the International Style, complete with its abstract medieval references. The tower is placed on a location near the Milan Cathedral in the city's historic center.


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The author

Zlata Golaboska

Zlata Golaboska

I am Zlata and I am an architect living in the Balkans. I am passionate about cities, how people influence architecture and vice versa, and how places change our lives.

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