The Torre Velasca is one of the symbols of Milan‘s post-war economic resurrection. This mushroom shaped buidling was constructed between 1956 and 1958, on a site that had been completely bombed out during the war.
Torre Velasca Milan
The address of the Torre Velasca is Piazza Velasca, 5 – 20122 Milano. Metro: Missori (line M3). Opening hours: To be visited during office hours. Entrance fee: Free.
History and description
The Torre Velasca stands 106 meters tall and was built between 1956 and 1958 in a style that in Italy is called neo-liberty and was a reaction to the rationalist style that preceded it. (The original liberty style is usually called art nouveau in other countries.)
The designation neo-liberty was intended to indicate that, on the one hand, they wanted to honor the 19th century buildings, but at the same time they wanted to symbolize the new economic prosperity of the city.
The colors and materials used in the construction of the Torre Velasca are the same as those of the Castello Sforzesco.
The original project was for the structure to be made of steel, but later a more traditional reinforced concrete design was chosen. One of the reasons for not choosing steel was that an American study had shown that the Italian steel industry of the time was not technologically advanced enough for a project of this size.
The architects were Banfi, Barbiano di Belgiojoso, Peressutti and Rogers. The lowest floors have a smaller surface than the higher ones, giving a mushroom-like impression. Because of its shape, it was nicknamed “skyscraper with suspenders” by the locals.
The first 18 floors are occupied by stores and offices. The next eight floors contain a total of 800 residential units.
The site of the Torre Velasca had been completely destroyed by American troops during bombing raids in 1943. The name derives from the square (Piazza Velasca) that used to be here, which was named after a 17th century Spanish governor.
One of the best places to view the tower is from the roof of the Duomo.