Milan’s Piazza Gae Aulenti wins top award

Feted by London’s Landscape Institute.

The redesign of Piazza Gae Aulenti, as part of the wider regeneration of Porta Nuova, has been chosen in the prestigious awards of London's Landscape Institute in the category medium-scale development.

The judges described it as “an excellent response to the client brief with a strong master plan concept that brings life to a successful, people-focussed urban landscape.”

“Sustainability is at the heart of this landmark new square,” stated the citation. “The centre of the piazza is flooded, creating a dramatic 60 m reflective water skin that becomes textured before it cascades down two floors. Not only does the sound mitigate noise pollution, it also integrates light and ventilation requirements.”

Sandwiched between Corso Como and Porta Venezia and bordering Montenapoleone, Milan’s Porta Nuova district has seen considerable redevelopment in the very recent past. Here the square – opened four years ago and named after the prolific Italian architect, who worked in Milan from 1954 until her death in 2012 – is regarded as one of the best examples of urban regeneration of a former industrial area.

In another category, the institute praised the gigantic beehive which was the focus of the UK pavilion at Expo Milano 2015, and which has since been reassembled in London’s Kew Gardens.

The annual awards are one of the biggest events in the landscape industry, celebrating the scale and scope of UK and international landscape practice. The institute is a professional organisation and educational charity working to protect, conserve and enhance the natural and built environment for the public benefit.