New intended uses for 6 historic buildings in Milan

The pandemic has expanded construction sites, but has not made Italian and international investors give up, identifying a top-level showcase in Milan. Thus, forgotten palaces and historic buildings are reborn, ready to host museums, hotels, shops and designer restaurants

While the countdown to the opening of Horto on the roof of The Medelan, in Piazza Cordusio, Corso Venezia has already begun, Corso Venezia is preparing to welcome Casa Cipriani, waiting to greet the inauguration of the Etruscan Museum funded by Rovati Foundation. Not far away, news of the recent arrival at the Palazzo del Principe di Piombino by the American group RH, specializing in luxury furniture. In Brera, on the other hand, it will be autumn to christen the debut at Casa Baglioni, a boutique hotel that focuses exclusively on art and design, as well as – but it is common to all the ongoing projects mentioned above – the catering ‘author. While we to find a more unique hospitality project, come to the skyscrapers of city life, where NH has found a strangely abandoned church. All confirmation of how Milan is able to attract Italian and international investors willing to undertake the reconstruction of historic buildings; – with a certain fondness for the elegant palaces of Corso Venezia, it seems – and in fact convinced that the added value of their projects, whether it is about creating new cultural, commercial or hospitable spaces, lies precisely in the restoration of pieces of the history of urban architecture, rethought as high-profile shop windows. Milan, for its part, is rediscovering spaces that have hitherto been hampered by free access, ready to transform into ambitious centers for leisure: culture, shopping, entertainment, catering.

Livia Montagnoli


Palazzo Bernasconi, Milano

In the Porta Venezia area, opposite the Indro Montanelli Gardens, Bernasconi Palace it is one of the most iconic buildings of the constructive fervor of the early twentieth century, founded in 1910 by the homonymous family and from the late nineties the home of the Gianni Campagna house. The designer’s death in 2017 led to the sale of the property, which entered Merope Asset Management’s portfolio, and which quickly became the subject of interest for the Cipriani group, which here chose to establish the first Italian address. of Casa Cipriani, a concept born in New York in the fall of 2021 from the restoration of the Battery Maritime Building in Lower Manhattan.
The special thing about the clubhouse (but with hotel rooms also open to non-members), devised by the most famous family of Venetian entrepreneurs on the international restaurant and hospitality scene, is actually to revive historic buildings to make them new gathering places and of “dolce vita” made in Italy. Before the end of June, if the planned inauguration date is confirmed, Milan will also know this approach and enjoy a range of advanced services: two restaurants (the iconic Cipriani Restaurant on the third floor with terrace; Socialista Lounge in the attic restored, with clear reference, in the surroundings and in the offer, to thirties Cuba), a boutique hotel, a bar club (Bar Arrigo on the ground floor), a wellness center and a fitness center. A house, in the intentions of those who have drawn it, to be lived all day. The fil rouge of the building remodeling operation was the design symbol of Italianness, enhanced in all environments (including bedrooms) by the architect Michele Bonan, which has selected furniture of Venini, Flos, Dedar velvets, Rivolta Carmignani fabrics. In total, the estimated investment is between 15 and 20 million euros to reopen almost 4 thousand square meters spread over four floors plus two underground floors.


Etruscan Museum in Milan, reproduction

The work, between ups and downs and a pandemic in the middle to destroy each program, took several years of waiting, but the construction site for Palazzo Bocconi-Rizzoli-Carraro finally seems to be nearing completion (by the end of summer). The building in Corso Venezia, number 52, was chosen by the Rovati family to house the archeological collection (about 4,000 pieces, of which three hundred exhibited in rotation) purchased in Switzerland with the intention of sharing it with a large audience. This is the creation of first Etruscan museum in Milansupported by the Luigi Rovati Foundation with an ambitious project to restore historic environments, entrusted to Mario Cucinella. In addition to the exhibition rooms, the museum will host a restaurant and a bistro bar, led by chefs Andrea Aprea (arriving from the kitchens of VUN in the Park Hyatt Milan, which has meanwhile turned since). The restaurant, on the top floor of the building, will enjoy a beautiful view of the city, which can be enjoyed from the large glass wall designed by the architect Flaviano Capriotti, which also signs the bistro bar on the ground floor overlooking the museum’s inner garden. Another confirmation of how the Foundation aims to make the museum live in constant dialogue with the city, and not only through the gastronomic offer, but also with workshops, exhibitions and events that will give the community back to a historic building in Corso Venezia , not far from GAM, from the PAC and Civic Museum of Natural History and in front of the Ulrico Hoepli Planetarium.


Palazzo Principe di Piombino, Milano

10 million euros to rebuild the entire building overlooking Corso Venezia at number 56, better known as Palazzo del Principe di Piombino, an example of eclectic Renaissance architecture built in the last quarter of the 19th century. Five storeys high and a planted inner courtyard make up the building’s classic model for state-owned condominiums, and in 2020 it entered the investment and property development company Merope’s portfolio following the acquisition of Banca Ifis. Now the agreement with the American group RH will lead to rethinking the building in a commercial key: RH is a luxury brand furniture, which opens its first flagship store in Corso Venezia, not until they have renovated the building, with its 5,500 square feet of floor space, patio and a garden that makes the property a place of great prestige for the debut of the American brand in Italy. The arrival of RH will ensure the opening to the public of many spaces in the building, intended to house the group’s collections (Interior, Contemporary, Modern, Outdoor, Beach House and Ski House), but also an Interior Design Studio, dedicated to interior design and installation services. The courtyard, on the other hand, covered by a retractable glass roof, is to be used for catering with wine bar, Champagne & Caviar Lounge and restaurant.


Medelan, Milan

In 2015, the Chinese investment fund Fosun Palazzo Broggi (today it manages it through the Portuguese subsidiary Fidelidade) bought a historic building overlooking Piazza Cordusio, the former headquarters of the former Credito Italiano. As part of this operation was born The Medelan project, developed by Broggi Fund and managed by DeA Capital Real Estate SGR, which invested 100 million euros for the renovation signed by the GLA studio. In fact, the works involved three interconnected buildings dating back to different periods: the former building of the Credito Italiano, inaugurated in 1901, designed by architects Luigi Broggi and Cesare Nava; The Magazzini Contratti building from 1903, again by Broggi; a newer wing, designed in 1960 by Giovanni Muzio. Final use: a mixed-use center, including offices, retail, food and beverage space, with extensive use of technology and targeted interior design strategies to promote the psychophysical well-being of those who spend most of their day away from home. The catering project ready for debut during the summer on the top floor (with panoramic terrace) of the building is also designed for this purpose. Horto brings the Mo-Food holding company to Milan for the first time, born around the gastronomic thought of Norbert Niederkofler, South Tyrolean chef promoter of Cook the Mountain philosophy (sustainability of raw materials, recycling, improvement of the typical features of the territory). Entrance from via San Protaso, 5, and then up to the roof, inspired by the setup of ended horti of medieval monasteries, designed by Genius Loci Architettura and Raffaella Colombo for landscape design. Furniture made with recycled materials, from the boards of old vinegar barrels to the floor to recycled fabrics to the staff uniforms. In the kitchen they will move Stefano Ferraro (ex Noma, already behind the opening of Loste in the city) e Alberto Toè (arriving from the St. Hubertus Brigade).


In between, exhibition display at Casa Baglioni farm, Milan

In Brera, in via dei Giardini 21 (in the Art Nouveau building, which was already Philipp Plein’s headquarters), the construction site revealed itself to the public during the last Design Week, on the ground floor, designed to host the exhibition Sometimes, with works by Enrico Castellani, Agostino Bonalumi, Anne Imhof and Giulio Paolini, from the Stefano Cecchi Trust Collection – Fondo per l’Arte (curated by Iole Pellion di Persano). For the inauguration of new Milanese hotel from Baglioni Collection (which since the final closure of Carlton, in 2020, is no longer present in the city), however, will have to wait until the end of 2022, when the project signed by the architectural firm Spagnuolo & Partners will be completed. And the dialogue between art and design will be the added value of the hospitality at Casa Baglioni, inspired by the artistic avant-garde of Milan in the 1960s (from Castellani to Bonalumi and Fontana), which the architects involved have drawn from on several occasions in the past. projects. . Among the guest services is a restaurant signed by Claudio Sadler – also accessible from the outside – with design basement.


Nh Collection Milano CityLife

The most unique of the architectural restorations in the city, which have already been completed and inaugurated on the occasion of Design Week, take us into a an impressive neomanerical style church built in the 30sin the Portello area, along via Colleoni.
The former religious complex Cristo Re, which was abandoned many years ago, now houses an elegant NH Collection hotel, which in the main part of the church and its nave, designed by the Quattroassociati studio, has been given the hall’s common areas, but also some of the 185 rooms and suites. The most spectacular intervention is discovered on the roof of the building, where there is now a swimming pool with lounge bar. The other rooms, from congress halls to catering services, as well as most of the rooms, required the construction of new structures next to the facade. So far, the bar and restaurant are only open to internal guests, but will soon be open to everyone, for the thrill of eating in a (former) church.

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