Margraf, with its associate Marmor Sezana, has been selected by CityLife together with the One Works design firm, to create the outdoor paving of CityLife, the ambitious urban redevelopment plan for the former Milan Trade Fair area, covering an area of about 255,000 sqm. The key structural and redevelopment element of the new neighbourhood will be the large public park, one of the largest in Europe once finished. Covering about 170,000 sqm, it provides for the integration of cycle and pedestrian paths and broad direct openings on the surrounding neighbourhoods. The new park will also complete the group of parks in the north-western area of Milan, creating an effective ecological network. In this context, Margraf Lipica Fiorito, extracted from the quarries in Slovenia of Margraf's associate Marmor Sezana, a grey marble with more or less visible fossil remains and thin whitish veins, is the main protagonist of the space. It is a natural stone that is particularly suitable for exteriors, since it does not frost, as proven after 56 frost-thaw cycles. Free-length slabs of Lipica Fiorito with two different non-slip finishes—bush-hammered and scored—were used for the paving. In the Tre Torri Square, at level 129, the paving contributes to shaping the spaces by creating a hierarchy. The Lipica stone slabs, laid perpendicularly to the towers, define their space, while the remaining part of the square features a paving in Luserna stone cubes with inlays of Lipica stone, arranged in the circle using a traditional technique that creates though a surprising pattern. The rich paving of the Tre Torri Square matches its institutional nature and contrasts with the simplicity of the pattern of the paving at level 122, whose more fluid nature tends to re-establish a bond with the park, Via Domodossola and Sei Febbraio Square.
The City Life project, once completed, will comprise:
• A 170,000-sqm park.
• Residential buildings: 7 residences designed by Zaha Hadid and 8 by Daniel Libeskind.
• Three skyscrapers used as office buildings: Isozaki Tower, Hadid Tower, Libeskind Tower
• About 20,000 sqm for shops and services.
• Underground parking spaces.
• A cycle and pedestrian path linking City Life to Parco Sempione on one side and the man-made hills of the Portello area on the other.
• Construction of new underground roads.
• Metro line 5 stop (already open) right at the centre of the area. Thanks to this new challenge, Margraf, which has been a ‘milestone’ in the history of world architecture over the last 110 years, is still a protagonist today in giving life to projects requiring top-class natural materials that not only have a great aesthetic impact, but also and above all a great added value and high quality.
• Quantity of material supplied: 8,200 sqm
• Type of marble: Lipica Fiorito, scored and bush-hammered, free-length slabs of different shapes.
• Type: grey-coloured marble with more or less evident fossil remains and rare small whitish veins. This stone is very compact and resistant to frost; it was used in ancient times for flooring and outdoor architectural elements throughout current-day Veneto, Friuli and Slovenia; today, testifying to the stone’s durability, these floors and elements still preserve their original features.
• Technical characteristics: Natural stone slabs for outdoor floors, after 56 freeze/thaw cycles, Lipica Fiorito has proven to be frost-resistant and therefore suitable for outdoor use.