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Corso Como Place, a contemporary project for the regeneration of a modernist tower

Coima SGR

Innovation and Design  /  Completed
Coima SGR

Located in the awards-winning Porta Nuova district in Milan, Corso Como Place is the bold regeneration and repositioning of the 1962 Unilever Tower and renovates an entire city block which has remained closed to the public for years. The project entails the complete regeneration of the existing tower and the construction of a new building of over 4,000 sqm, as well as the requalification of the surrounding pedestrian areas with the creation of a new piazza. Conceived with the aim of completing a pilot project from a technological infrastructure perspective, sustainability and wellness play key factors in the building’s design. The existing high-rise Unilever Tower was a nearly 60-year-old modernist landmark designed in the international style. A recent, misplaced attempt to reclad the facade completely changed its character without improving it, rendering it both unremarkable and undervalued. With the intention to return the building to its local landmark status while creating a flexible, contemporary internal environment that supports modern day work activities, the tower results from the redevelopment of an iconic piece of the Milanese urban history. The building has been entirely reconceived highlighting the enhanced verticality. The building’s multifaceted skin has been cladded in glass, which gives a special crystalline and animated effect. The facets emphasize the building’s verticality and its status as a landmark of the Milan skyline is further exalted by the distinctive upper crowning. In this way a continuous terrace is introduced, coupled with luminous copper cladding for upper floors, also visible from a distance. A faceted aluminium and glass curtainwall counteracts the existing low ceilings to allow more light into the workspaces. At the 15th floor, the glazing steps back to reveal a terrace with dramatic views across the city. Above this, it steps out again to form two new floors, standing clear from the floorplates and helping it blend into the sky. The shorter solid flanking walls to the north and south and have been covered with 1,000 photovoltaic modules. A double-height reception area at ground floor features a curving timber ceiling. Refreshed office floors above feature exposed concrete from the original structure and revamped floorplates that accommodate flexible workspaces. To the east, a new four-storey timber-framed pavilion stands as a marker for the entrance of the development. Outside, the existing carpark has been redeveloped into a stepped landscaped piazza with a diverse range of plantings, trees and seating areas. Sustainability and wellness play key factors in the building, which has been designed to achieve both LEED Gold and WELL Gold certifications and is a Nearly Zero Energy Building (NZEB) with 65% of its energy requirements provided by renewable resources and 75% reduced energy consumption compared to typical buildings in the city. Overcoming the concept of energy efficiency and environmental sustainability, Corso Como Place incorporates those principles with direct effect on the individuals’ psycho-physical balance: office spaces include a native IoT infrastructure of over 4.000 sensors that continually monitor environmental parameters and automatically calibrates itself to ensure optimal occupant comfort. The building utilises Cradle-to-Cradle certified materials, drawing on principles of circular economy in real estate development. The project reutilizes as much of the existing building as possible while ensuring it has been completely reborn as a futureproofed working environment focused on efficiency and wellness. Overcoming the concept of energy efficiency and environmental sustainability, Corso Como Place incorporates those principles with direct effect on the individuals’ psycho-physical balance, based on a holistic, human-centered approach. It stands at the heart of the Porta Nuova urban evolution, an important hub of the Milanese lifestyle, easily accessible via public transport, thanks to the nearby high-speed railway stations and two underground lines. The public space linking the pedestrian area is fully redeveloped, to foster the pedestrian permeability of the site. The integration of walkways and green areas results into a project that incorporates the new generation’s green mobility requirements, by applying an innovative urban quality to a more widespread area, directly connected to the rest of Milan. The planting of local tree species softens the landscape with changing colour effects according to the seasons, making Corso Como Place a liveable space, a pleasure to use for the entire city.


 Over 16,000 above ground mq
 PLP Architecture International Ltd
 PLP Architecture International Ltd
 Icm Costruzioni
 Local and Executive Architect: Tekne S.p.A. MEP Engineer: Deerns Italia S.p.A. Structural Engineer: Ce.A.S. Centro Di Analisi Strutturale S.r.l. Landscape Architect: LAND S.r.l. Lighting consultant: Voltaire Lighting Design Security consultant: Secursat S.r.l.
 Donato Di Bello


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