About the project
The renovation and expansion of the historic Excelsior Hotel Gallia in the heart of Milan, was part of the wider urban redevelopment of Piazza Duca D&Aosta. An international investment fund from Qatar acquired the hotel, which consisted of a 1930s building and an extension dating from the early 1960s, known as Pirelli Wing, with the intention of turning it into a five star luxury hotel. The three buildings form a trapezoidal bordered by Via Filzi, Via Galvani, Piazza Duca D&Aosta and Piazza IV Novembre.
Following an international selection process, the architectural project was awarded to Studio Marco Piva, with structural and plant projects assigned to Arup, project managed by Lend Lease, and cost controlled by G&T with its local partner, SPI. The Interiors Division of Studio Marco Piva was subsequently appointed to carry out the interior design as well. In agreement of the city authorities, the new building was conceived to contrast to the historic building, the intention being that its architectural character convey a sense of connection with the modern architecture of its urban surroundings. The screen printed glass façade, with its irregular alternating patterns of light and shade are, especially along Via Vitruvio, a connecting element between the textures of the façade of the Pirelli skyscraper, and the more far off textures of Torre Galfa and the new buildings in the Porta Nuova area.
The project concept is a reference to the Milan lifestyle, to the unique set of dynamic elements that have always been a feature of the life of the city: the unceasing interaction of the local culture with the most diverse range of other cultures, which has always been characterised by an emphasis on newness, beauty, fashion, industrial design and the dynamic, positive lifestyle in which Milan is utterly immersed, and which it exports the world over.