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The changing and lengthening landscape of Milan

mian nn
mian nn
Written by editor

Milan has an ultra-new hotel experience – it is Palazzo Parigi Hotel that launched with a soft opening last month and just in time for Milan’s legendary Fashion Week when the whole area becomes a

Milan has an ultra-new hotel experience – it is Palazzo Parigi Hotel that launched with a soft opening last month and just in time for Milan’s legendary Fashion Week when the whole area becomes a cat walk.

Right in the heart of Milan, the formerly Palazzo Kramer, a 17th century building that was a bank before the 150 million euro transformation into a hotel, is situated in the historic Brera district near Piazza Cavour and the posh (and sometimes carpeted) Via Montenapelone.

The latest 5-star property is striving to become the best hotel of Milan, and this could very well be the case. The brand-new Palazzo Parigi Hotel is surrounded by some of Milan’s luxury hotel icons, such as the Four Seasons, Hotel du Milan, the Bulgari Hotel, Armani Hotel – all in the next neighborhood.

As architect Paola Giambelli (she also is the owner) loves Paris, she has set her vision and passion involving world-renowned French Interior Designer, Pierre Yves Rochon, in creating a piece of Paris in Milan – the Palazzo Parigi Milano – right in the heart of Milan… voila!

Set in a lush private garden with century-old trees and a gourmet restaurant offering a divine dining experience by internationally-acclaimed 2 Michelin-star chef Carlo Cracco, the vision of a little Paris has come true.

And the view from the Palazzo Parigi Suites towards the new breathtaking skyline of Milan is spectacular. With flowers on the balcony and a lovely setting, a new dimension has come into town.

For a long time, the Duomo di Milano, the fifth largest cathedral in the world, was the tallest building in Milan, measuring 108 meters high. But now with the modernization of the city and the forthcoming EXPO 2015, Milan is building high.

The new symbol is the Palazzo Lombardia (163 meters high) which is the second-tallest building in Italy designed by famous New York-based Pei Cobb Freed & Partners. As a matter of fact, it is a complex of buildings, and houses the new offices of the Lombardy regional government. In 2012, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), crowned the Palazzo Lombardia with the award for Best European Tall Building, stating: “In a city known for history and fashion, the tower is perfectly attuned to the urban environment.”

But there is more to come.

Milan’s most ambitious and latest development is the 27-story-high building that provides a skyline vista, and if you’re lucky, maybe even a coastal view.

Two under-construction buildings, 110 and 76 meters (360 and 250 feet) in height, close to Stazione Garibaldi and the fashionable Corso di Como, are the first project of this kind – the vertical garden. By integrating vertical gardens into the exterior building structure with trees and plants, it will help to control the building’s climate through shading in summer and day lighting in winter, and will also help filter the air, a big issue in Milan during the winter months.

Plants are being chosen based on their ability to produce humidity and absorb CO2, dust, and urban noise. Once completed, the vertical garden – or Bosco Verticale – will contain 900 trees (the tallest are expected to grow up to about 30 feet) as well as shrubs and floral plants. Supporting the same amount of plant life on land would require an area equal to 10,000 square meters (about 2.5 acres) of land per tower according to Stefano Boeri Architetti.

Vertical gardens have become an important design tool for eco-friendly buildings, helping to both conserve and reduce energy consumption while enabling onsite plant and food production. Bosco Verticale is designed to irrigate the plants by filtering and reusing grey water from the building’s water system. In fact, the vertical gardens will require an onsite management team. This is something to look forward to.

The new impressive skyline is part of Milan getting ready for EXPO 2015, and transformation projects have re-designed the urban structure. But insiders of Milan say this is not Milan anymore – but who knows, maybe in 10 years we will mightily and proudly say, this is Milan!

Anyway, whoever likes staying in place more down to Earth should stay in the brand-new Magna Pars Suites Milano located in Zona Tortona, Milan’s most exciting part of the city – at least once or twice a year during the Salone del Mobile or Milano Moda weeks – perhaps even the most exciting part of the world.

The newly-opened Magna Pars Suites Milan, a restaurant lounge bar in a 5-star hotel with 28 spacious suites is situated close to Navigli (the old waterways of Milan) and is built on the original site of a perfume factory owned by the Martone family, run by the charming General Manager, Barbara Rohner, one of the very rare female GMs in Milan’s hospitality industry.

“We just joined Small Luxury Hotels,” she said, “We are small and need a big partner.”

Magna Pars Suites Milano is a cheerful property and champion for sustainable energy whose owner believes strongly in renewable material, advanced technologies, sound-proof wallpapers, and the use of geothermal and photovoltaic energy sources – all rather costly investments, but a unique experience for affluent guests.

The 28 suites (between 60 and 90 square meters) overlooking an enclosed garden is a lovely modern high-tech experience in a completely different area of Milan and former manufacturing district. Next to well-known global brands such as Armani, Zegna, and Tod’s who opened up showrooms and headquarters, with projects that carry the names of famous architects such as Antonio Citterio, Tadao Ando, or David Chipperfield, followed by banks and business consultants, Zona Tortona is the hip answer to the trendy city center of Milan. Zona Tortona has kept an urban and charming flair, with neighborhood balconies full of colorful wash hanging down from them instead of carefully-designed flower arrangements.