The Pirellone has resolved… This term, which has now entered everyday language, reflects the building’s roots in the collective imagination, but even more its identification with the Lombardy Region.
The Pirellone has resolved… This term, which has now entered everyday language, reflects the building’s roots in the collective imagination, but even more its identification with the Lombardy Region. The forty years of the Pirelli Skyscraper as the premises of the Region, and the Executive and the Council, have meant that the architectural form is identified with the Institution. In 1978 the Lombardy Region acquired the Skyscraper and restructured the interiors as its work spaces and official reception venue. On 1 June 1980 the first meeting of the Council was held in the new council chamber (formerly the Pirelli data processing centre), which is notable for its beautiful structure with crossed portals. Under the symbol of the Camunian Rose, designed by Noorda, Sambonet, Tovaglia, and Munari, the Lombardy Region took possession of the Skyscraper. One evening in April 2002, a light aircraft crashed into the twenty-sixth floor of the building, bringing destruction and death to the offices of the Region. The structure withstood the impact, but the damage was considerable, and the tragedy created the opportunity to plan its rebirth. The accident necessitated extensive restoration work, first of all to repair the three floors of the facade affected by the impact, but also to cope with some chronic problems that had been plaguing the building: the external ceramic cladding was becoming detached (the consolidation of 12,000 square metres of slabs measuring 2 x 2 cm, already retained by metal mesh for some time, and the replacement of 250,000 slabs), the layout of the regional offices, the restructuring of the auditorium in the basement, the restoration of the belvedere on the top floor, compliance with safety and energy-saving regulations (for example, over 10,000 square metres of aluminium and glass curtain walls were upgraded). A technical-scientific commission adopted the most up-to-date principles of intervention, promoting the studies necessary to proceed with the restoration as planned by the professionals of the Renato Sarno Group and Corvino + Multari Associati between 2002 and 2005. The result is an architectural complex restored to its original functions – a workplace with extraordinary spatial and environmental qualities – designed for a sustainable future. But what is even more important is that the project did not conceal the Skyscraper’s age: it rather enhanced the quality of its first sixty years. A venue for institutional activities, meetings and cultural events open to the region, the Skyscraper is also an instrument of communication through its own façade, which can be switched on to project messages and images, and create atmospheres.Read more
First session of the Lombardy Regional Council in the Pirelli Skyscraper, 2 June 1980, photo De Bellis / Fotogramma
Speech by the Dalai Lama to the Lombardy Regional Council, 1999 (ANSA Archivio Regione Lombardia)
Senator Liliana Segre visits the Pirellone accompanied by president Fontana and president Fermi, 11 February 2020 (Archivio Consiglio Regionale della Lombardia)
With the Regions the Republic had to and could become a political subject finally characterised by a true institutional pluralism. A whole in which the State is only one element: the greatest of course, but not the only one. Today we must build the new Italicity with our frame of reference no longer the geographical expression of the boot of Italy, but that of Italianness in Europe and the world