Act III

CULTURE
AND CUSTOMS
OF A METROPOLIS
ON THE MOVE

In the later part of the 1950s Milan experienced a period of great cultural ferment. Before the Pirellone, the Torre Velasca and the Torre Galfa designed began to leave a vertical mark on Milan, which proved capable of experimenting and looking to the future, towards a new modernity.

In the later part of the 1950s Milan experienced a period of great cultural ferment. After World War II the city was ready to traverse the second half of the short century. Before the Pirellone, the Torre Velasca by Studio BBPR and the Torre Galfa designed by Melchiorre Bega began to leave a vertical mark on Milan, which proved capable of experimenting and looking to the future, towards a new modernity. The city needed spaces and buildings to house the new working class that was moving from the south to the north as industry geared up again after the war.

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Aerial view of San Siro stadium in Milan, 1958 photo, Ever

Passengers on the platform of the Linea Rossa, Milan’s first Metro line, 1965

The Pirelli Tower is undoubtedly beautiful, but apart from this – or because of this – it is a celebrity. People’s eyes in Milan are used to it, and so are mine, for I see it every day from my house in piazza della Repubblica. Nevertheless, when strolling through the nearby streets and looking up by chance – a sad and rare occurrence in cities –, I can feel for the first time the great, solemn presence of a pinnacle, a turret, a huge tower rising itself above the much-desired cement and glass residential structures

Dino Buzzati
"Short tales of the Tower" in "Pirelli", 1970 9-10

From "Capitani d’industria", 1963

by permission of Fondazione Cineteca Italiana

From "Capitani d’industria", 1963

by permission of Fondazione Cineteca Italiana

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