To Dream in
Brighter Colours

The Rainbow Tower, a lovingly restored structure in Milan’s Porta Garibaldi precinct, is building a technicolour bridge between the city’s past and future.

By Lisa Cugnetto MAY 2016

Cities are often defined by their landmarks. Milan’s famed Gothic cathedral, the Duomo, is an enduring symbol of its rich history, however, it is the city’s newer monuments such as the Rainbow Tower (La Torre Arcobaleno) that symbolise the Milan of today.

Taking its name from the 100,000 coloured ceramic tiles that adorn it, the Rainbow Tower is a striking structure that began life as an old water reserve built in 1964 on the grounds of Milan’s busy Porta Garibaldi railway station. It was revitalised in 1990 as part of an urban renewal initiative that was the result of Italy hosting the FIFA World Cup. But in 2015, the Studio Original Designers 6R5 Network — an acclaimed Milanese design firm whose members include Francesco Roggero, Albino Pozzi, Rita Alfano Roggero and Kiyoto Ishimoto — started a new chapter in the building’s life. The collective restored the 35-metre high tower in time for the Expo Milano 2015, a global event dedicated to sustainability and technology, held in the design capital later that year.

“The Torre Arcobaleno [the Rainbow Tower] is a project which aims to encourage […] the process of perception which emerges when art meets everyday life and in an urban context,” explains Studio Original Designers 6R5 Network’s Francesco Roggero, adding that the restoration was part of Wonderline, a research initiative dedicated to conceiving art, design and architecture projects that embrace the Picasso manifesto: “Colours, like features, follow the changes of the emotions.” “For the occasion of Expo 2015, we decided to restore the Rainbow Tower to treat visitors travelling from... Subscribe to read this article in full

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