In an effort to attract large-scale world-class conventions and exhibitions, the city of Milan embarked on an ambitious plan to build a $700 million trade show complex. Massimiliano Fuksas was engaged to bring to life a new design that would house exhibition halls, auditoriums, conference rooms, restaurants and cafes, meeting halls, and office spaces for the Fiera administration. What would emerge from the recently reclaimed brownfields was a Fiera that covers 2.1 million square feet and stretches nearly a mile.
Massimiliano garnered inspiration from the intrinsic elements of the surrounding landscape. The concept was further refined through numerous iterations within the digital realm, which played a critical role in maintaining the continuity of the original sculptural sketch/model – and in the eventual fabrication of the fluid fabric-like canopy that runs the entire length of the Fiera.
Fuksas dealt with the expansiveness of the 8 separate structures by orienting them inwards towards the central spine covered with a glass canopy that functions akin to that of a central street. In order to demarcate the various functions of the buildings, the exhibition halls have orange facades facing towards the canopy, the restaurants and cafes that line the open air corridor feature curvilinear facades and stand on pillars, the meeting halls feature stainless steel cladding and hover at walkway height, and the office spaces are contained within glass boxes that line the walkway.