a tale of modernity and high-tech in “the city rises” on the 26th floor of the Pirellone
The exhibition Skyscraper Stories: 60 years of the Pirellone, from industrial culture to the institutional activities of Lombardy Region opens on Wednesday 30 June 2021. Curated by the Pirelli Foundation with the architect Alessandro Colombo, it is promoted by the Council and Government of the Lombardy Region and by the Pirelli Foundation, with the contribution of Pirelli and FNM Group. The exhibition tells the story of the building, which began as the Pirelli headquarters and then became the headquarters and symbol of Lombardy Region, with video installations with exclusive testimonies, photographs, illustrations, and archive footage, mostly from the Pirelli Historical Archive.
The exhibition, for which the catalogue published by Marsilio and the dedicated website 60grattacielopirelli.org are already available, celebrates the modernity of technology and industry in Lombardy, the institution of the regional government, and the urban avant-garde of the città che sale,“the city rises”, as expressed by the city of Milan.
The exhibition opens with a model of the building from the Gio Ponti Archives, placed in front of a large wall that welcomes visitors as they come out of the lifts on the 26th floor – the “memory” floor. They are greeted by a reproduction of a sketch by Ponti himself, which sums up his vision of Milan, of which the Pirellone is still an undisputed landmark. He made the drawing during an interview on the building in Piazza Duca d’Aosta, in which Ponti talked with prophetic insight about his vision of Milan in the future: “I dream of a Milan made by my fellow architects. I certainly don’t want a Milan made up of low houses and one skyscraper here, one there, another here, and yet another there. It would be like a mouth with some teeth that are long and others short. Skyscrapers are beautiful if they are one next to the other, like islands. […] What I’m saying is not a dream. I’m saying what it will be in the future”
The exhibition is divided into five “movements”: from the construction of the building, a celebration of the finished work and genius of Gio Ponti, who also designed the furnishings to give workers greater comfort and a better workplace, through to Milan, with its modernity and its ability to change, making it the driving force behind the economic boom in those years. And lastly, in more recent times, when the building became the symbol of the regional government in Lombardy. The visitor is accompanied along the way by video installations, with the voices of those who experienced life in the building and who still have a profound connection with it, as well as a timeline of the most important events in Italian and international history from 1956 to the present day.
The exhibition can be visited by appointment on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. and from 2.30 to 4.30 p.m.(last admission 30 minutes before closing). The exhibition will be closed from 1st to 31st August 2021.
Admission is limited to groups of up to 10 people and it is necessary to fill in a self-declaration form relating to the health regulations in force.
To book, please call the Lombardy Region at +39 026 748 2777 or write to:
The entrance is on Via Fabio Filzi 22, Milan