Generali Real Estate




73,000 / 785,765



CityLife is one of the largest redevelopment projects in Europe, covering an area of 366,000 square metres. Located in a prestigious area of Milan, only a short distance from the Duomo, CityLife currently consists of three iconic towers surrounded by a green public realm. While an international design competition asked for a new tower on the site, BIG took the opportunity to explore a different typology for the city.


Currently under construction, BIG’s design envisions two individual buildings connected by a 140-metre-long hanging roof – unified by a series of performative vertical elements – that forms a generous shaded public realm as the entrance to CityLife: The Portico, also known as CityWave. Rather than competing with the existing context, BIG’s design completes it.

CityLife is located on the former site of Fiera Milano. The fair’s primary axis, called Domodossola Axis, was the main pedestrian walkway to the pavilions, dividing the site diagonally between Largo Domodossola and Piazza Amendola. This axis is maintained in the CityLife masterplan as a visual connection and further enhanced by the underground metro. BIG’s site acts as an entryway to the axis, split in two parts. 


Twin buildings were often used in Milan in the 20th century to celebrate the axis as an urban demarcation of entryways. Anchoring both sides of the street, the twin buildings create a sense of grandeur to the axis and are commonly found throughout history, from the gates of the Spanish city walls in the 1500s to post-war icons such as the twin buildings of via Turati.


CityWave is a 73,000-square-metre development with workspace and public amenities, designed on the last two remaining plots of the CityLife masterplan in Milan. The masterplan, designed by Studio Libeskind in conjunction with Zaha Hadid Architects and Arata Isozaki & Associates, consists of three iconic towers surrounded by a green public realm and residential neighbourhoods.

"Throughout the urban history of Milan, an urban axis is symbolized by a set of twin buildings and a gate. The Portico is an evolution of that typology creating both a gateway to CityLife and a significant destination for Milan."

Lorenzo Boddi — Partner, BIG

CityWave blurs the boundaries between indoor and outdoor spaces, extending the interior to the exterior and ensuring year-round outdoor living. The characteristic long portico structure is clad entirely in photovoltaic tiles, forming one of the largest rooftop solar installations in Europe. 


Two courtyards allow employees to enjoy a place of respite during the workday, while the large, central, covered public realm becomes a gift to the city of Milan. 

“With CityLife, we set ourselves an ambitious goal that we believe we have achieved, that of regenerating and upgrading the area of the Milan Trade Fair, which we have fully restored to the city in a completely renewed form that can be used by everyone. The project of the BIG studio completes the area with a solution that is in line with our values and objectives, a project that we embraced right from the start."

Armando Borghi — CEO, CityLife

Each floor of the building has at least 3 metre-high ceilings, enabling natural light to enter through a continuous, transparent and luminous façade that will look out onto both the city and two large private courtyards.  

Under the roofs, a cascading ring of amenities allows for interconnected covered outdoor areas and extends into the rooftop bar overlooking the Alps and Monte Rosa mountain ranges. 

In parallel with the construction of the new residential lot on Via Spinola, the new project represents the completion of CityLife, which will become one of Europe’s major business districts, with a mix of public and private functions including residences, offices, shops and green areas. 


Expected to open in 2026, the new neighbourhood is considered one of the main “new urban centres” of Milan and a highly regarded example of urban renewal and regeneration in Italy. 

Bjarke Ingels Andreas Klok Pedersen Florencia Kratsman Francesca Portesine Andy Coward Anna Pazurek Andy Young Beatrice Melli Bjarke Koch-Ørvad Camille Breuil Carl Pettersson Carmen Salas Ruiz Carmen Simone Chris Falla Claire Thomas Spiller Daniel Ferrara Bilesky Duncan Horswill Elisabetta Costa Filip Radu Giulio Rigoni Gualtiero Rulli Ioannis Gio Jason Chee Han Chia Jonathan Russell Kamila Abbiazova Lauren Connell Falla Lorenzo Boddi Marco Antonio Maycotte Nefeli Stamatari Marina Cogliani Marjan Mostavi Matilde Tavanti Michela Cardia Miles Treacy Ming Cheong Parinaz Kadkhodayi-Kholghi Pernille Kinch Andersen Pierre-Edouard Joseph Joiris de Caussin Ryohei Koike Sabina Blasiotti Sijia Zhong Timo Harboe Nielsen Ulla Hornsyld Vincent Katienin Konate Youngjin Jun Yueying Wan Zuzanna Hanna Sliwinska Siqi Emily Chen Ania Agnieszka Podlaszewska Giulia Frittoli Jakob Freek Engstrom Maria de Salvador Arnaiz Luca Vincenzo Puzzoni Liliana Prevedello Gianmarco Cannizzo Maayan Raviv Solveig Lola Audrey Jappy Andrew McClements Evan Cheng


Atelier Verticale
Holzner Bertagnolli