The Libeskind residences employ the classical courtyard configuration and naturalistic materials of an historic Milanese neighborhood, while presenting an asymmetrical layering of the façade. The residential buildings are sited on the perimeter of the site to the south and rise towards the park to the north.
The facades are clad in a finely textured, light grey tile, developed for the project by the Italian tile company Casalgrande Padana. Undulating outdoor spaces create a rhythmic pattern and are draped with a brise soleils, made with new, highly-sustainable composite wood. Each building is topped off by double-height penthouses, conceived as villas, with generous terraces, luxury finishes and city views. Each of these “sky villas” has a completely unique geometry that accentuates the tops of the buildings, integrating the large-scale structures into the rich and varied surrounding urban fabric.
The five-building complex gently curves around an open courtyard with interwoven pedestrian paths that connect to the street, the park, and an underground parking structure. Conceived as an outdoor living room for residents to gather and relax, the courtyard’s tranquility is preserved by routing vehicular traffic on a loop at the outer edge of the site, which allows for direct access to the double height lobbies and leads to the private parking compartments.
The Residences utilize state-of-the-art design and are certified by the Italian Building Energy Consumption (A+ Class – CENED) in Italy. Sustainable features include, but are not limited to, thermally regulated radiant ceilings, energy efficient programmable heating and cooling systems, high-tech insulation, sustainable tiles, composite wood brise soleils, and photo-voltaic-cells on the roof to generate and store electrical energy.
The first five-buildings of phase one is complete and accommodate 307 units. The second phase of three additional buildings, that will accommodate 125 units, is scheduled to be completed by 2017.
“The buildings themselves create extra value by deserving to be part of the view. In contrast to the asphalted surroundings and vinyl-windowed cheapness of even high-end American developments, these assemblages dynamically engage the greenery and kaleidoscopically choreograph sun and shadow through the day. CityLife courtyards are worthy amenities, not parking-lot leftovers. American residential developers should take note: They could learn a thing or two from CityLife.” –James, Russell, Architect Magazine (May 2014)