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Project

Palazzo Lombardia

Inspired by the interweaving mountains, rivers and valleys indicative of Italy’s Lombardy region, the award-winning Palazzo Lombardia houses the Lombardy Regional Government’s headquarters.

Lead Contact

Project Details

Project Partners
Pei Cobb Freed & Partners
Owner
Regione Lombardia
Location
Milan, Italy
Completion Date
Area
98,000 m²
Project Awards

Architizer, A+ Award - Government Buildings, 2015

AIA New York State Chapter, Award of Excellence, 2013

CTBUH, Best Tall Building Europe, 2012

Chicago Athenaeum / European Centre, International Architecture Award, 2012

Urban Land Institute, Finalist - Global Awards for Excellence, 2012

NCSEA, Excellence in Structural Engineering, 2011

Palazzo Lombardia in Milan, Italy. Simon Hsu photo
Palazzo Lombardia in Milan, Italy. Courtesy FG+SG Fotografia de Arquitectura
Palazzo Lombardia in Milan, Italy. Thornton Tomasetti

Structural Elegance in a High Seismic Zone

Inspired by the interweaving mountains, rivers and valleys indicative of Italy’s Lombardy region, the award-winning Palazzo Lombardia houses the Lombardy Regional Government’s headquarters, down the street from its former headquarters in the famous Pirelli Tower. The massive project includes fivenine-story, wave-like buildings. An iconic 43-story tower was, upon completion, briefly the tallest building in Italy. The complex also features rooftop gardens, open-air and interconnected public plazas between the buildings, and a large piazza enclosed by an innovative roof structure.

We provided structural design services through design development to Pei Cobb Freed & Partners for the complex, which opened in 2011.

Palazzo Lombardia Palazzo Lombardia in Milan, Italy. Simon Hsu photo

Highlights

  • One of the key structural challenges was the curving shape of the low-rise buildings, which made coordination between form and function more complicated than in a structure with conventional geometry.
  • Our engineers met early on with the architect to work out the column grids and found the solution that optimized structural efficiency and supported architectural priorities.
  • At the heart of the complex, the piazza is topped by a curving diagrid of steel tubes supporting a transparent membrane of ETFE pillows.
  • Because it connects to four separate buildings, each of which could move independently during a seismic event, the roof needed to be able to withstand simultaneous movement in multiple directions.
  • We employed parametric modeling to identify the best balance between appearance and performance and developed a two-fold approach.

In a city known for history and fashion, the tower is perfectly attuned to the urban environment. More than simply a tower, the project creates a cohesive blend of parks and commercial space, with an appropriately local flair.