The Pirelli Tower opened in Milan on 4 April 1960. Advocated by Alberto and Piero Pirelli, envisioned by the creative and innovative minds of Gio Ponti, Antonio Fornaroli, Alberto Rosselli, Pier Luigi Nervi, Arturo Danusso, Giuseppe Valtolina and Egidio Dell’Orto, the building turns 60 this year. To celebrate this important event, an exhibition entitled “Skyscraper Stories. The Pirellone and a Sixty-year Celebration of Corporate and the Regional Government of Lombardy” will open in the spring of 2021. The show is promoted by the Lombardy Region and the Pirelli Foundation, curated by the Pirelli Foundation and the architect Alessandro Colombo, and made possible with the contribution of FNM. While awaiting the opening of the exhibition, an outline of the project can already be seen in the catalogue published by Marsilio, in bookstores from 16 December 2020, and in the launch of the dedicated platform 60grattacielopirelli.org, which contains a preview of the exhibition.
The story is told in five stages with photographs, illustrations, and archive footage, mainly from the Pirelli Historical Archive, and exclusive testimony from those who thought up, designed, built, and who have lived in it over the past sixty years. There is also a timeline that, from 1956 to the present day, retraces the broader history of Italy and the world and the most significant events that have made their mark on the popular imagination.
“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 there, and yet another there. It would be like a mouth with some teeth that are long and others that are short. Skyscrapers are beautiful if they are placed 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” (Gio Ponti on the city of Milan in 1961)