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Built in 1958, Torre Velasca is an example of house-tower.
Designed by Ernesto Nathan-Rogers, Ludovico Barbiano di Belgioioso and Ernesto Peressutti, the building is 106 meters high and is evidently contrasting with the surrounding old buildings.
The bizarre building of Torre Velasca, which seemed abandoned, can be seen even from Piazza del Duomo.
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The Velasca Tower
The Torre Velasca of Velasca Tower is definately one of the most curious and most discussed building in the centre of Milan. The skyscraper is designed by the BBPR studio, a cooperation of the architects Banfi, Belgiojoso, Peressutti and Rogers. The construction started in 1950 and was finished in 1958. The tower has become a symbol of the Milanese architecture of after the War.
The building has the shape of a mushroom. Its enormous volume at the top, is the reason of a huge establishment of concrete. You can clearly see elements of the Castello Sforzesco in the Velasca Tower. The choise of materials and the colours make that is certainly is one of the most interesting buildings of Milan, if you like the building or not.
Torre Velasca: Unique Design
Standing on the roofs or balconies of buildings you are able to see things not otherwise apparent from a street view. Standing on the roof of the Milan Duomo, the Torre Velasca was definitely one of them.
Designed by a group of four architects in 1950 and completed in 1958, the Torre Velasca has best been described as a giant mushroom. The building was designed by BBPR, a local Milan based architectural office (Gian Luigi Banfi, Lodovico Belgiojoso, Enrico Peresutti, Ernesto Rogers). The style shown in this building is called neoliberty or brutalistic, depending on who you consult, and has been the subject of much artistic debate in Milan and across Europe. When the building was first completed the architectural community was generally quite critical of the building. As an urban planner I admire not only the design but the fact that the building was one of the first mixed use buildings that combined office with residential in a central city after World War 2. So bravo!
The architects were concerned that many of the new buildings being constructed after the damage to Milan of World War 2 were displacing residents. To counteract this the top eight floors, which project out, were designed for one and two bedroom apartments. About 100 apartments exist today. The top two floors are penthouse suites. The bottom eighteen floors of the building are offices and commercial structures. The building is set back substantially from the street allowing for a large pedestrian plaza.
Admission into the tower is free and organized group tours are available as well.
This brick red tower was constructed after World War II. The distinctive feature of this building is that the top nine floors extend beyond the lower ones on struts. I found it a bit unique amongst all the buildings that you can see when on top of the Duomo.