Farewell Largo Treves tower: Arrighetti’s building in Brera under demolition

The iconic tower, one of the most eye-catching locations of Design Week 2023, will be knocked down and replaced by a residential building.

In the Brera district of Milan, demolition work has commenced on the tower in Largo Treves, one of the historic squares in the neighborhood. Designed in 1955 by Arrigo Arrighetti, the tower formerly housed municipal offices and was affectionately nicknamed in Italian “il bidoncino” (“the small bin”). Criticized by many and appreciated by others, it was undoubtedly a distinctive presence in the urban texture of the area.

During Design Week 2023, the tower was highlighted by glo for art, becoming a highlight of Fuorisalone 2023 in the heart of the Brera Design District. Before the already planned demolition, the building came back to life for one last time, albeit fleetingly, leaving a strong impression in the memories of visitors of all ages. On the same site, once stood the first building of Bocconi University, between Via Palermo and Via Statuto, which was later demolished to make way for the new. Thus, fate seems to repeat itself, and today Arrighetti's building is being dismantled by Despe, the specialized company that recently brought down the tower of the former Hotel Michelangelo in Piazza Luigi di Savoia.

In this case as well, the company will use the patented technological system TopDownWay®. The building, protected by a mobile formwork containing the debris, will be demolished from the inside, starting from the top. Stella RE – which acquired the property at the end of 2021 – will then construct a new nine-story residential building on the same site, following the design by architect Matteo Giuseppe Paloschi of M2P Architetti Associati, currently awaiting approval from the landscape commission.

Already in 1910, Milan presented itself to the eyes of the Futurist painter Umberto Boccioni, who observed it from his balcony as the ascending city. More than a century later, Milan, having expanded, has once again begun to ascend, now destructing and reconstructing itself at an ever-accelerating pace, reshaping. Examples abound, from the aforementioned former Hotel Michelangelo near Central Station to the future third tower of the Lombardy Region, Palazzo Sistema, which will replace the 1971 volumes designed by Marco Zanuso and Lodovico Barbiano di Belgiojoso as the headquarters of Montedison. These construction sites cannot help but confront us with the questioning between the old and the new: a balance between these two forces will have to be found at this time of rapid transformation. With the hope that Milan, innervated as it is by its real estate market, will succeed.

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