UniCredit Pavilion opens in Milan
Distinguished by multifunctional design and community focus
First public event to be held on 28 July
One year, one month and ten days: That is how long it took to build the UniCredit Pavilion and open it to the city of Milan. UniCredit’s new multifunctional structure is located in Piazza Gae Aulenti, adjacent to the Group's headquarters. It is not just an auditorium, not just a venue for events and conferences, not just an exhibition space, but all of these things at once. Its different roles have been seamlessly blended together, thanks to the ingenious modular configuration of the building’s spaces.
The ceremony was attended by UniCredit Chairman Giuseppe Vita, Chief Executive Officer Federico Ghizzoni, President of the Lombardy Regional Authority Roberto Maroni, and architect Michele De Lucchi, the structure’s designer. The ribbon cutting inaugurated a building that is unique in all of Italy. At the press conference, artist Dorothee Selz provided a taste of her new work “Nutriamo la Fantasia” (“We Nourish the Imagination”), a collection of edible sculptures, specially created for the inauguration of the pavilion in collaboration with several leading Italian chefs, coordinated by the renowned Carlo Cracco.
At the ceremony Mr. Vita said, “Today we present this pavilion, which will serve as a vital place for discussion, participation and experimentation, to Milan, the city with which we have been linked for more than one hundred years. It is our hope that the pavilion will facilitate interaction between the languages of economics, culture and art. We believe that bringing together diverse voices, stories and experiences is at the heart of what distinguishes us as an international group.”
Mr. Ghizzoni agreed: “The space we inaugurate today is in keeping with our identity as an innovative European company that maintains strong local roots. We are committed to building good relationships with the communities in which we operate and to contributing to their sustainable economic development. This is a high-impact project for all the Group’s stakeholders, which will involve local businesses, institutions, our employees, and the entire community.”
Mr. De Lucchi described the process that guided his design for the building: “Seeds fall to the ground, and then sprout upward as their roots take hold. Seeds are also protected by an outer casing. Inside you will find the essence of life and the magic that will regenerate the organisms that created them. The seed in this case is a building, made of wood, on the edge of a large park. Its soft curves stand out against the sharp lines of the neighboring buildings.
It’s clear that it’s not a block of flats or offices, and it is intended to serve as a symbol linking the natural setting of the park with the people in the skyscrapers.”
The UniCredit Pavilion occupies three levels. The auditorium on the ground floor can accommodate up to 700 people. Its flexible design allows it to be divided into several smaller rooms. From the Auditorium a spiral staircase leads up to the Art Walkway, a versatile exhibition space that can also be used to display visual narratives complementing other activities being held in the building. The Mini-Tree facility is located on the second level of the pavilion. This is a children’s day-care center serving the families of employees; it also includes places for members of the local community, with room for 60 children from 3 up to 36 months of age. The third level is home to the Greenhouse, a space for meetings and business events. The building is provided with two “wings”, 12-meter-long structures supporting screens that open out onto the park and Piazza Gae Aulenti.
The structure, which faces the gardens of Porta Nuova, was designed with a strong focus on environmental sustainability and uses natural materials and modern building techniques. Its development and construction were followed in a five-episode documentary distributed on the web via www.unicreditpavilion.it, the first project of its kind by an Italian company. The web production used time-lapse photography to show the daily growth of the UniCredit Pavilion and included more than 20 interviews with individuals who played roles in its design and construction.
The public opening of the UniCredit Pavilion is planned for July 28 at 9:30 p.m., with a photographic concert, “Symphonies on Stage,” conceived and produced by Tullio Mattone in collaboration with the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia—Cineteca Nazionale. The event will be presented by actor Giancarlo Giannini, with live music performed by the Orchestra Filarmonica Italiana, and guest performances by singers Chiara Civello and Emanuela Loffredo. Maestro Maurizio Abeni will handle the musical arrangements and conducting. Admission is free, and it will also be possible to enjoy the event from outside the pavilion, via video projection on the building’s “wings”.
From July 31 to August 31, the UniCredit Pavilion will host an exhibition entitled “Lo sguardo di…” (“The gaze of…”). For the first time in Milan, about 70 works will be displayed from the UniCredit Art Collection, one of the most important corporate art collections in Europe. The pieces were selected by the bank’s art-loving employees with additional input from UniCredit’s Artistic Commission.
The schedule of events will continue on September 7 and 9. These two evenings will offer concerts by the winners of scholarships with the Filarmonica della Scala supporting the development of new talent on violin and cello.
More info on website www.unicreditpavilion.it