Pirellone - Pirelli Tower, Milan
One of the few office towers in Milan that is visually appealing, the Pirelli building also became a part of history itself when some crazed pilot decided to fly his small plane into the top floors and commit suicide shortly after 9/11. This caused the death of a couple of office workers, and also set the world on edge as they braced for the news of another 9/11 style suicide bombing. The Pirelli building has now been almost fully repaired, and it stands proudly just outside the Central Station's main exit on Piazza Duca D'Aosta. Despite its sleek modern lines, it was actually completed in 1959.
If you are in the area of Stazione Centrale and walk along where the main entrance is (at Piazzale Duca D'Aosta), you cannot miss the Pirelli Tower. It is a large skyscraper - compared to what I'm used to, anyway!
The tower was constructed from 1955 to 1960 and was designed by a group of seven architects. It is 127m high, and for a few months, it was the highest skyscraper made of reinforced concrete in the world. Being built in the post-war years, it became a symbol of Milan's recovery after the war.
There are some interesting facts about this building! Firstly, it is located at the spot where in 1872, Giovan Battista Pirelli had his first tyre factory. Moreover, it was the first building ever in Milan that was allowed to be higher than the Duomo! To make amends, a small statue of a Madonna was installed on the roof of the Pirelli Tower.
Tradition says it, no building in Milan may be higher, than the statue of Mary standing on the tallest spire of Duomo. From this reason, on the roof of the 127 m tall Pirelli Tower has been built a small statue of the Virgin Mary, a gold copy overlooking to her sister, the marble Mary. So it became really true: no building in Milan is higher della Madonnina.
The tower which resembles the MetLife building in NYC very much is one of those buildings you will pass by and forget it after a couple of hundred metres past, however, it has been famous, after an aircraft hit the 25th storey on April 18, 2002. Fears of "another 11 September" were soon dispelled, when it turned out, that this was not a deliberate action, only a chance accident.
Somebody told me, for visiting the terrace on the 31st floor you have to wait for certain opportunities: the Republic Day, the feast of Grandparents, Spring Day for Europe, the White Night, and so on.
The "Pirellone" belongs no longer to Pirelli, it is now home to the head offices of Lombardy.
Built between 1950 and 1960, Grattacielo Pirelli (Pirelli Tower), also called "Pirellone", can be considered one of the symbols of Milan.
With its 127.1 meters and its 60,000 tons of concrete, Pirellone was commissioned by Alberto Pirelli, the president of the Pirelli Company, on the original area of the first factory of the Italian company built in the 19th century.
The building was later sold to the Lombardy region, of which is now the head-office.
If you'll click on the pictures you'll also see one that I took during my visit to Milan in 2002 when Pirellone was hit by a single-engine airplane, registered in Swizerland.
This was top news at that time because it was uncertain if it was a simple flight accident or if the elderly pilot committed suicide.
The grattacielo Pirelli ("Pirelli skyscraper"), better known as "il Pirellone" for being very high, is the residence of Region Lombardia. Indeed, you must see it, especially if you come by train, because it's just outside the Milano Centrale railway station!
The first building in Milan to be higher than the Madonna who graces the highest peak on the Duomo, this tower became a sort of symbol of post WWII reconstruction in Milan.
In April 2002 a small plane collided with it and everybody thought about 11/9...