Milan (MI) Italy
The World Cup in Italy in 1990 left a fond memory in the hearts of those who experienced it. Purposefully “polished” cities welcomed the colourful mass of supporters coming from all over the world, while their enthusiastic citizens were taking advantage of the opportunity offered by this close encounter to convey to the world the meaning of “Made in Italy” as a quality label. It all happened a long time ago, yet something that was originated in the name of that special event and that was appreciated by the happy crowds during those “magical nights” is still there for all to see, very near the heart of Milan: the “Rainbow Tower”. Once an anonymous water-tank built in the1960s on the edge of the important railway station Porta Garibaldi, the structure was “regenerated” in record time just before the World Cup. It immediately became an urban landmark. The concrete, hyperbolic, 35 meter tall silhouette was very damaged and underwent a thorough treatment aimed at strengthening and smoothening its outer surface - later covered with tiles from the SistemC Marazzi series by Marazzi Ceramiche. For the purpose, tiles of different formats (10x10 to 20x20 cm) were selected, featuring 14 different colors. The geometric decorative pattern is simple, and the chromatic palette (conceived by Studio Original Designers 6R5 in Milan) harmonious: together, they produce an overall effect of great impact and transform a meaningless service structure into an unmistakable architectural landmark that rises above the emptiness of the railway tracks, also creating a dialogue with other important high elements of the city skyline. Such as the 19th century Famedio of the Cimitero Monumentale, the two Railway Towers by Laura Lazzari, and the administrative “citadel” that grew around the famous Pirelli skyscraper by Gio Ponti. This continuous tension between novelty and tradition, which is so typical of Milan, is perfectly supported by the choice of ceramics, a material that is strictly linked to the Italian tradition and that becomes testimonial of the modern dynamic values of a City that is always at the forefront of architecture and creativity.