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General Information

Other name(s): Torre Pirelli
Beginning of works: 1956
Completion: 1958
Status: in use

Project Type

Structure: Frame
Function / usage: Office building
Material: Reinforced concrete structure


Location: , , ,
Coordinates: 45° 29' 6" N    9° 12' 4" E
Show coordinates on a map

Technical Information


height 127 m
number of floors (above ground) 32


building structure reinforced concrete


July 1956

Construction begins.

2 August 1958

Construction finished.

4 April 1960



Purchased by the Region of Lombardy.

18 April 2002, 17:55

A small Rockwell Commander 112TC plane with one pilot and no passengers hits the building at the 25th and 26th floor causing an explosion and a large gash in the building. At least 3 people die in the crash and 36 are injured, the 67-year-old pilot among them.

Excerpt from Wikipedia

Pirelli Tower (Italian: Grattacielo Pirelli – also called "Pirellone", literally "Big Pirelli"), is a 32-storey, 127 m (417 ft) skyscraper in Milan, Italy. The base of the building is 1,900 m2 (20,000 sq ft), with a length of 75.5 m (248 ft) and a width of 20.5 m (67 ft). The construction used approximately 30,000 m3 (1,100,000 cu ft) of concrete. The building weighs close to 70,000 t (69,000 long tons; 77,000 short tons) with a volume of 125,324 m3 (4,425,800 cu ft).

Characterized by a structural skeleton, curtain wall façades and tapered sides, it was among the first skyscrapers to abandon the customary block form. After its completion it was the tallest building in Italy but in 1961 Mole Antonelliana recovered priority after rebuilding of its pinnacle. The architectural historian Hasan-Uddin Khan praised it as "one of the most elegant tall buildings in the world" and as one of the "few tall European buildings [that made] statements that added to the vocabulary of the skyscraper".

The building inspired the Pan Am Building (now MetLife Building) in New York and the National Mutual West Plaza in Auckland.


In 1950, Alberto Pirelli, president and owner of the giant Pirelli tyre company, ordered that a skyscraper be built in the area where the corporation's first factory was located in the 19th century. The project was developed by architect Gio Ponti, with the assistance of Pier Luigi Nervi and Arturo Danusso.

Construction of the tower began in 1956 when Italy was experiencing an economic boom. The tower was to be surrounded by low lying buildings on a pentagonal plot of land. Upon its completion in 1958, it became a symbol not only of Milan, but also of the economic recovery of Italy after the devastation of World War II. At 127 m (417 ft), it was the tallest building in Italy after Mole Antonelliana until 1995. The company sold the building to the Lombardy regional government in 1978. It's also the seat of the Regional Council.


2002 plane crash

On the afternoon of 18 April 2002, a Rockwell Commander 112 single-engine airplane registered in Switzerland hit the building. The aircraft was apparently scheduled to fly from Locarno to Milan. The plane was low on fuel and Linate Airport was preparing an emergency landing prior to the crash, but the pilot suddenly strayed and crashed into the building. The pilot and two people inside the tower were killed in the accident. Two goals of the restoration work were to maintain the structural and artistic integrity of the building and to upgrade its status as an executive headquarters by introducing new support services and technological systems.

Text imported from Wikipedia article "Pirelli Tower" and modified on 22 July 2019 under the CC-BY-SA 3.0 license.


Structural engineering
Concrete repairs (2002)
Material supplier

Relevant Web Sites

Relevant Publications

  • Nervi, Pier Luigi (1963): Neue Strukturen. Verlag Gerd Hatje, Stuttgart (Germany), pp. 10-17.
  • Desideri, Paolo / Nervi Jr., Pier Luigi / Positano, Guiseppe (1979): Pier Luigi Nervi. Zanichelli Editore, Bologna (Italy), pp. 62-69.
  • Iori, Tullia (2009): Pier Luigi Nervi. Motta Architettura, Milan (Italy), ISBN 978-88-6413-005-7, pp. 54-57.
  • Dupré, Judith (1996): Skyscrapers. Black Dog & Loventhal, New York (USA), pp. 52-53.
  • Dupré, Judith / Smith, Adrian (2008): Skyscrapers. A History of the World's Most Extraordinary Buildings. 2nd edition, Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, Inc., New York (USA), ISBN 978-1-57912-787-9, pp. 54-55.
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