The exhibitions at the Milan Triennale have always defined a synthesis between design and experimentation. On such occasions the Parco Sempione was turned into the stage for the new myths of living and the Palazzo dell’Arte designed by Giovanni Muzio became a marvellous device of cultural promotion.

We intended to interpret this tradition of the Triennale with a project conceived as a transparent glasshouse suspended above the Parco Sempione.

Climbing up to the terrace of the Palazzo dell’Arte, the visitor is greeted by a garden of aromatic herbs laid out by the landscape designer Antonio Perazzi, behind which rises the glazed pavilion of the restaurant.

Running parallel to the front of Parco Sempione and set back 3 meters from the perimeter of the building, the pavilion is characterized by a modular structure of stainless steel made up of seven spans, each of 4.7 meters, the same dimension as the arches of the historic building designed by Muzio.

The pavilion can be opened up completely all the way around its perimeter by means of sliding panels along its length and a folding system along its width. In its open configuration, thus presenting itself as a seamless metal frame in continuity with the terrace, without any angles which limit the space.

Since it is glazed on all sides, including the roof, the pavilion is sheltered by a large curtain of about 400 sqm, which can be wound up completely on motorized rollers.

Due to the combined use of the curtain and the sliding panels, the pavilion’s function can be diversified to suit the climatic and environmental external conditions like a thermo-regulating glasshouse, ensuring internal comfort with a minimal contribution of energy, allowing it to be used in different ways over the course of the day and the seasons. In summer the use of the curtain providing shadows prevents the overheating, while in winter, when rolled up, the curtain favours passive heating by sunlight entering through the glass roof.

The geometry of the pavilion clearly identifies three functional areas: the reception area with a panoramic bar at the south-eastern end, the show-cooking area at the north-western end and the dining area in the middle, with different possible configurations.

Following this approach, the pavilion becomes the place of strong urban conviviality, a sensitive and interactive space in perpetual evolution by virtue of a continuous dynamic exchange between interior and exterior.

Triennale Milano
President Claudio De Albertis
President Stefano Boeri (from 2018)
Director Andrea Cancellato
Director Carlo Morfini (from 2018 to 2022)
General director Carla Morogallo (from 2022)

Project team:
Milan Ingegneria
Antonio Perazzi
Buro Happold
Maddalena D’Alfonso
Francesco Nastasi
Rossi Bianchi lighting design

OBR design team:
Paolo Brescia and Tommaso Principi,
Edoardo Allievi, Sidney Bollag,
Francesco Cascella, Andrea Casetto,
Teresa Corbin, Maria Lezhnina,
Caterina Malavolti, Giulia Negri, Cecilia Pastore,
Enrico Pinto, Elisa Siffredi

Cristiano Corte
Gianluca di Ioia
Michele Nastasi

Milan, Italy

site area 620 sqm
built surface 350 sqm

2015 end of construction
2014 detailed design
2014 concept design
2014 preliminary design
2014 design competition (first prize)

2016 AAP American Architecture Prize, New York
2015 In/Arch International Award, Milan