Hines has fired the starting gun on the development of MilanoSesto, Italy’s biggest urban regeneration project. The international real estate firm has just chosen the four architecture firms that will design Unione Zero, the first private lot in the development of a former industrial area to the North-East of Milan.
Four Italian studios have been chosen to design the seven buildings which make up Unione Zero, covering an area of 250,000 sq m, alongside 13 hectares of parkland on the former Falck Steelworks site.
Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel has been appointed to design an office building and a hotel with around 250 rooms, while Barreca & La Varra will design the affordable housing element of Unione Zero.
Park Associati will be responsible for designing the 700-bed student accommodation, and Scandurra Studio Architettura will design the private residential space.
The four Italian firms studios each have a distinct architectural style and a well-established track record in Italy and abroad, Hines said. The selected partners will work on the masterplan design by architectural studio Foster + Partners, guaranteeing its consistency and global vision. The first construction phase of Unione Zero will start in the second half of the year.
“We are very pleased with the results of the selection which saw the participation of some of the most important architecture firms in Italy and abroad,” said Mario Abbadessa, senior managing director and country head, Hines Italy. “The challenge will be innovating and projecting the area into the future with a contemporary project, while preserving the memory of an industrial site with a great history and enhancing its sustainability and integration with the local community.”
Strong emphasis on sustainability and community
Unione Zero has a strong emphasis on sustainability and community engagement. All buildings will be designed with wellness in mind, with communal spaces and green areas for leisure and gardening, that will be accessible to everyone.
The plan is to create an inclusive community and to provide an ethically sustainable model of development utilising materials that promote energy efficiency meeting performance goals via LEED, WELL and Cradle to Cradle certifications, Hines said.
Unione Zero is adjacent to the City of Health and Research, a new medical and research facility, and is just 15 minutes from the centre of Milan with excellent connectivity provided by the existing metro line and the new Sesto San Giovanni railway station, which will be built by 2023.
MilanoSesto, one of Europe’s largest regeneration projects covering 1.5 million sq m, is a partnership between property owner Milanosesto, Hines as development manager and strategic advisor, and the Prelios Group as project manager.
When completed, the development will be home to more than 50,000 residents and will transform the area into a sustainable and inclusive urban hub. The Foster + Partners masterplan includes residential areas, retail, hospitality and office space, and public realm facilities with a 45-hectare park billed as the ‘green lung’ for the entire Milanese metropolitan area, integrated with the historic industrial buildings.