Historically a manufacturing town, Milan has transformed itself in recent years into a global city defined by the three Fs: finance, fashion, and furniture. Porta Nuova, now a giant construction looming over the high street Corso Como, will reflect the new Milan.

The Porta Nuova development in Milan
Image courtesy Porta Nuova
The Porta Nuova development in Milan includes two Stefano Boeri-designed towers that will be covered in plants.

The 71-acre, mixed-used project is rising around the Garibaldi train station, at the foot of Milan’s arts district, Brera. When Porta Nouva, or “new gate,” is completed in 2012, a highlight will be Città della Moda e del Design, or Fashion City, which includes a 107,000-square-foot showroom building where fashion tenants will sell their wares, as well as a museum and school devoted to the subject.

Porta Nouva isn’t all about glamour. The project weaves together the disparate neighborhoods Garibaldi, Varesine, and Isola with extensive pedestrian and bike paths surrounded by parkland. That green space also reaches skyward at Bosco Verticale, a residential complex designed by Stefano Boeri that comprises a 24-story and 17-story tower sporting a seemingly random arrangement of terraces. Approximately 900 trees and shrubs will be planted on these balconies, and irrigation will be delivered via a graywater filtration system. While all of Porta Nuova’s buildings will be submitted for LEED certification, Bosco Verticale is emblematic of the effort to make Porta Nuova as sustainable as it is trendy.