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Milan – Another stake passed in view of the 2026 Milan-Cortina Winter Olympics. Coima, Covivio and Prada – the owners of the former Roman airport – presented the updated masterplan of the Roman Park and unveiled the name of the architecture firm that won the international competition for the design of the Olympic Village that will be built in the south-west quadrant of the former airport, between via Ripamonti and via Lorenzini: this is the studio Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), the same one he designed the Moon Village (the lunar village for the European Space Agency exhibited at the Venice Biennale) and the new World Trade Center which took the place of the Twin Towers in New York.
The SOM studio was ranked second in the international competition for the masterplan of the entire area of the former airport, won by the Outcomist team. Now SOM will be able to focus only on the Olympic Village, which must be ready in July 2025. The design partner of the Colin Koop studio shows the renderings of the building complex with green terraces and zero energy impact, which for the Games of February 2026 will be able to accommodate up to 1,300 people, between athletes and staff, and then, as early as September 2026, they will be transformed into a student residence that can also be used 12 months a year by other categories of people, not just university students. In the dormitory there will also be greenhouses and vegetable gardens for food production within the area.
The time schedule of the work is very important, of course, because the Parco Romana project in the former airport is closely linked to the Olympic deadline. Not surprisingly, yesterday at the Triennale, there were not only representatives of the owners of the area – Manfredi Catella for Coima, Alexei Dal Pastro for Covivio and Paolo Zannoni for Prada – but the leaders of the local authorities – the mayor Giuseppe Sala, the Lombard governor Attilio Fontana and the councilors for Sport and Urban Planning of Palazzo Marino and Palazzo Lombardia – and the managing director of the Milano-Cortina 2026 Foundation, Vincenzo Novari. The privately funded project has a significant public impact for the Olympics, but not only.
The area of the former airport, in fact, will become a new district of the city closely connected on one side to viale Isonzo and piazza Trento, where the A2A skyscraper will also be built, and on the other in via Lorenzini, where the Prada Foundation is already located.On March 31, when the first version of the masterplan was presented, the area awaiting complete redevelopment was was renamed “Roman Park ” because it will be characterized by a large green area and a forest suspended in the air for a kilometer which will pass over the railway line, which will be partly buried to allow the transit of citizens from north to south (and vice versa) along a grassy hill and through north-south connections with the suspended forest, which will cross the former railway yard. Mayor Sala professes optimism on Parco Romana, Olympic Village and the future of Milan.
“I strongly believe in the development of the southern part of the city and this is an example. I always have few certainties in life, but I do have one: that Milan will return to the way it was, better still, because I see an extraordinary ferment of ideas and initiatives : I believe these years will lead us to interpret the 2026 Winter Games well and to crown a path. “The president of the Fontana Region, meanwhile, underlines: “The Olympic Village it is probably the most important work of the entire Olympic masterplan. It will be the heart of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Lombardy, as well as the largest village of all those planned for 2026. Precisely because the work is so important, the International Olympic Committee he expressly asked the Lombardy Region, already in the candidacy phase, to guarantee its implementation within the deadlines set by the Olympic time schedule “.
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