Close-up of the Fondazione Feltrinelli building

Fondazione Feltrinelli

Porta Garibaldi & Isola

Herzog & de Meuron’s first public buildings in Italy, these two elongated, slanted structures look reminiscent of greenhouses. The Feltrinelli Foundation, which occupies one of the buildings, is home to one of its namesake bookshops (open 8am to 11pm Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 11pm Saturday and Sunday), an extremely good cafe, a reading room and a conference/events space. The other building is home to Microsoft's Italian hub.

In the future further shops, cafes and restaurants are expected to open in the ground-floor spaces. The complex's greenhouse-like design is no coincidence: the buildings were constructed on the site of a former nursery and take inspiration from Milan’s historic cascine (farmsteads). With steeply pitched roofs and shark-tooth edges, they bring an awesome dose of modernity to the surrounding neighbourhood.

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