The exhibition building for fashion and design is part of Cesar Pelli’s masterplan for the area Garibaldi Repubblica in Milan. The design concept is directly inspired by the Italian fashion industry. The ‘black box’ forms the core of the building. Within this box, there are two levels of exhibition creating the possibility for eight separate exhibitions at any one time. This functional core is then loosely wrapped, as though draped with fabric, in a metal skin that follows the shape of the site, creating something of an urban sculpture. This external fabric, at once a roof and facade, is cleaved down its length into ribbons, exposing its warm timber structure internally and allowing light to penetrate, creating a variety of spatial and lighting conditions. Like a body clothed, it disguises, but also reveals and varies in appearance according to different conditions - night and day. At piazza level, the building is transparent: full glazing allows the public immediate connection with the interior. The top floor will house a restaurant that leads to a large roof terrace with panoramic views of the Alps.
Images courtesy Grimshaw