Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Stefano Boeri Architetti to regenerate abandoned site in Milan

COIMA has awarded Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS + R) and Stefano Boeri Architetti the international architectural competition for Pirelli 39 in Milan. They were declared the winner among the 70 international teams, including Studios 3XN, David Chipperfield and Heatherwick, to name a few.

The DS + R and Stefano Boeri Architetti proposal envisages a mixed-use model of public-residential-tertiary spaces through the recovery of the existing tower, the bridge-building over Melchiorre Gioia and the construction of a new building.

Stefano Boeri Architetti 


Our studio is thrilled to have this opportunity to make a meaningful architectural contribution to the city of Milan, our first project in Italy.  As much of our work focuses on the future of cities, the Pirelli 39 project presents a great opportunity to develop a new model of mixed-use development and sustainable urban growth. The project combines the adaptive reuse of heritage buildings with environmentally responsible new construction, and a vibrant ‘living’ cultural destination devoted to the art and science of plants - Elizabeth Diller, Partner at Diller Scofidio + Renfro


The scheme aims to add a new residential tower that will feature 1,700 square meters of vegetation, so that flora and fauna will change the colours of the building as the season's change. The building will absorb 14 tons of CO2 and produce 9 tons of oxygen per year, equivalent to a 10,000 square meters forest. With 2,770 square meters of photovoltaic panels, the tower will self-produce 65% of its energy needs. The building includes structural parts in wood that will decrease its carbon footprint, including 1,800 cubic meters of wood for the floors that will save up to 3,600 tons of carbon dioxide in the construction phases.


The existing building upgrade will ensure that it meets the Next Generation EU parameters for an office building in innovation and sustainability. Keeping the original building's character and updating the plant equipment and energy performance to meet current standards' demand.

Stefano Boeri Architetti 


The new scheme also introduces a new hub for events, shows and exhibitions, with meeting and wellness areas and a biodiverse greenhouse space as an extension of the park nearby. This will be a dedicated laboratory for immersive, educational, interactive and innovative experience among various plant species.


This project will reinvigorate the iconic former Pirellino building, creating a new tower that mixes architecture and nature to create a green space that is open to the whole city. In such a difficult period, this project relaunches the vision of a forward-looking Milan and bravely faces the great challenges of the climate crisis - Stefano Boeri, Founder of Stefano Boeri Architetti


The project aims to zero use of fossil fuels and has the ambition to become the world's first district in the world to achieve LEED and WELL for community certification. The project also hopes to meet >65% of development annual energy requirements from renewable resources and reuse 70% of the existing building to contain construction emissions.

Stefano Boeri Architetti 



Based in Milan, with offices in Shanghai and Tirana, Stefano Boeri Architetti (Boeri Studio until 2008) since 1993 has been dedicated to the research and practice mainly in architecture and urbanism, but also in the cultural, design and interior design fields.

“Multiplicity” is the guideline which has oriented for over 20 years a polyhedral activity, branching through project themes and across social and urban geographies worldwide. Such approach has allowed the Studio to acquire a strongly defined identity and become a point of reference for biodiversity and sustainable architecture, social housing, strategic urban development at different scales, at an Italian and international level. Stefano Boeri Architetti has developed architectural designs and regeneration projects in complex environments and in several continents, supporting and enhancing synergies between all the various players, both public and private, involved in the development. In the design process, Stefano Boeri Architetti benefits from the assistance of an extensive network of very high-level professionals, ranging from engineering consultants and landscape architects to agronomists and even social scientists, in a continuous multidisciplinary dialogue which has allowed to develop specific and innovative solutions for a wide range of territorial and socio-economical contexts.



Founded in 1981, Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R) is a design studio whose practise spans the fields of architecture, urban design, installation art, multi-media performance, digital media, and print. With a focus on cultural and civic projects, DS+R’s work addresses the changing role of institutions and the future of cities.  The studio is based in New York and is comprised of over 100 architects, designers, artists and researchers, led by four partners—Elizabeth Diller, Ricardo Scofidio, Charles Renfro and Benjamin Gilmartin.