Generali Tower - Milan, Italy

Generali Tower is a skyscraper completed in 2017 in Milan, Italy that reaches a height of 628 feet with 44 floors (+ 3 floors basement), and a total floor area of about 720,000 square feet). It was designed by Zaha Hadid, hence it is also called torre Hadid ("Hadid Tower"). The geometry of the building is that of a warping shape, where both the floors dimension and their orientation vary along the tower axis.  

Architecture and Construction

The structure is concrete and composite. A central core acts as main horizontal stiffening and resisting element. Foundations are of mixed raft and piles type, where the piles are used as settlement reduction devices. The base raft is a 8.2 feet thick concrete slab, resting on 64 piles arranged in clusters and points under the main load points. In order to resist the main torsional effects due to the warped column arrangement, the core lintels above main doors feature composite solutions with a mixed use of steel elements, rebar and concrete. Due to the specific form-dependent deformation effects, a highly sophisticated stage analysis both for construction and long-term effects has been performed. A steel, free form podium for commercial use surrounds the base of the building. In October 2019 the tower was awarded first place for excellence in the mid-rise category by the American Concrete Institute. The building hosts offices of Assicurazioni Generali, the third largest insurance group in the world by revenue.

About the Architect

Dame Zaha Mohammad Hadid October 31 1950 –  March 31 2016) was a British-Iraqi architect, artist and designer, recognized as a major figure in architecture of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Born in Baghdad, Iraq, Hadid studied mathematics as an undergraduate and then enrolled at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in 1972. In search of an alternative system to traditional architectural drawing, and influenced by Suprematism and the Russian avant-garde, Hadid adopted painting as a design tool and abstraction as an investigative principle to "reinvestigate the aborted and untested experiments of Modernism to unveil new fields of building."

She was described by The Guardian as the "Queen of the curve", who "liberated architectural geometry, giving it a whole new expressive identity". Her major works include the London Aquatics Centre for the 2012 Olympics, the Broad Art Museum, Rome's MAXXI Museum, and the Guangzhou Opera House. Some of her awards have been presented posthumously, including the statuette for the 2017 Brit Awards. Several of her buildings were still under construction at the time of her death, including the Daxing International Airport in Beijing, and the Al Wakrah Stadium in Qatar, a venue for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Hadid was the first woman to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize, in 2004. She received the UK's most prestigious architectural award, the Stirling Prize, in 2010 and 2011. In 2012, she was made a Dame by Elizabeth II for services to architecture, and in February, 2016, the month preceding her death, she became the first woman to be individually awarded the Royal Gold Medal from the Royal Institute of British Architects (Ray Eames and Sheila O'Donnell had previously been awarded it jointly with Charles Eames and John Tuomey respectively).

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