Milan’s UniCredit Tower has made the top 10 in this year’s prestigious Emporis Awards list of the world’s best architecture.
Coming in at number eight in the 2012 awards, the 218-metre tall tower at Porta Nuova Garibaldi is Italy’s tallest building, and including its stainless-steel spire is over 50 metres higher than the “Pirellone”, the next tallest in Milan.
It’s not only the tower’s height which impressed the judges. Selection criteria included such engineering features as the high-performance glazing, advanced building systems, high-efficiency lighting and daylight controls deployed to reduce energy consumption.
The UniCredit building and its two sister towers have been designed so that a direct line of sunlight will reach 90 per cent of occupied areas. The towers are engineered to create energy savings of 22.5 per cent, a 37.3 per cent reduction in the use of potable water, and 100 per cent recycling of rainwater.
The development includes the three-tower corporate headquarters of UniCredit, low-rise office buildings, a new residential neighborhood, shops, and a hotel. Located at the base of the office towers is a new circular piazza, Piazza Gae Aulenti.
The retail buildings are linked by a glass-and-steel, ring-shaped canopy that embraces the piazza and its fountain. Within the retail buildings are two levels of shopping above the park, as well as a “sunken piazza” level with many entry points that connect to the neighborhood at street level. The tower, which was completed over four years by US design architects Pelli Clarke Pelli, has 33 floors above ground, and can be seen from up to six miles away.
The LED navigational lights on the dramatic, 84-metre spire can change colour, for example to flash green, white and red on the national day. Germany-based Emporis is a global provider of building information. Emporis collects data on buildings of high public and economic value, connects them with involved companies and sets standards for this information.