Torre Velasca


Torre Velasca is an excellent skyscraper designed during the 1950s in the city of Milan in Italy. The Velasca Tower is part of the first generation in Italian modern architecture. The tower is still being part of the Milanese context in which it was born. It also belongs to the Milan Cathedral and the Sforza Castle.

Structure of the tower

Torre Velasca stands out of the city’s skyline, made fully of domes, buildings and other popular towers. Its structure recalls the Lombard tradition, made of medieval forts and towers, each having a huge profile. In such towers, the lower parts were always narrower, while the higher parts were supported up by wooden boards or stone beams. The tower is located in the city center of Milan in Italy, near the Duomo that is the Milan Cathedral and the headquarters of the University of Milan.

It is located between the streets Corso di Porta Romana and through Larga. One of the exits of the Missori metro station is located right in front of it. The Torre Velasca, planned to connect over its surrounding structures at the height of around thousand meters was to be an important addition to Milan’s skyline. For this reason, it was crucial that the architects BBPR, find ways to mix the design of the Torre Velasca, completed in 1958, with that of the classic architectural beauties of historic Milan city.

Division and significance of Torre Velasco

The upper third of the building, which extends towards outside from the lower levels, was designed to resemble ancient watchtowers. Such familiar towers were used in times of war to protect Italian castles from occupatio. By taking the Torre Velasca to build upon the ideas of ancient architecture, BBPR was able to connect the modern building to its historic past and keep the design of the new addition from feeling out of place.

Construction of the tower

The tower’s stone material and supporting bars that add stability to the projecting section not only further its resemblance to Italy’s medieval defense towers but also mimic some of the Gothic features of its surrounding structures.

By looking at Milan’s skyline, it is clear that BBPR designed the Torre Velasca with its surroundings in mind especially considering the growing trend toward glass curtain walls in high-rises like this one. However, the design had many important functional purposes as well. Whereas many new and modern buildings were constructed along the city’s street corner fronts, the Torre Velasca was erected in the center of its site so as to encourage the use the area of the plaza.

The tower’s narrow bottom not only allowed for the creation of such square space but also fit with the building’s multifunctional purposes. The narrow spaces of the lower floors held shops, offices and exhibitions, while the more spacious top stories contained apartments with spectacular views overlooking the city.


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