A new country
«Culturally and without tracing the language of any of its buildings, the Tower is an attempt to summarize the atmosphere of the city of Milan, an ineffable yet perceptible feature.»

Ernesto Nathan Rogers, 1958


A new skyline

The 292-day construction project to build the Torre Velasca began in 1955. Its style confirmed how deeply the building was an integral part of the city.
Post-war Italy was a country needing redemption, committed, craving change. Amidst all this, in Milan, there was a skyscraper like no other. This skyscraper, a project designed for a city that was changing, developing, and that recognized its worth, was called Torre Velasca. Italy was becoming a new country.
torre velasca
The BBPR studio, founded in 1932 by Gian Luigi Banfi, Lodovico Barbiano di Belgiojoso, Enrico Peressutti and Ernesto Nathan Rogers, was one of the first and most interesting cases of artistic and cultural partnership based on group work rather than on personality of the individual.
Gian Luigi Banfi was an architect of great value despite his short life, a major figure of the Italian debate within the BBPR group: He was a well-known photographer, specifically of architecture, and major figure of Italian Rationalism, contributing to modernization of Milan. He died in the Mauthausen-Gusen death camp on April 10, 1945, just a few days before the end of the war.
Lodovico Barbiano di Belgiojoso was an Italian architect and academic. Stimulated by his parents’ example, the young Lodovico revealed an early propensity for drawing and painting, cultivated during his years at the Parini Classical High School. There he met Gian Luigi Banfi and Ernesto Nathan Rogers, his future university and work companions. Together, starting in 1927, they attended the School of Architecture of the Polytechnic of Milan. In July 1932, he received his degree in architecture with a thesis written together with Banfi, Peressutti and Rogers, the year of the BBPR group was founded. “I learned a lot from my friends in my early years of work. From Banfi I learned to work, from Rogers to think, from Peressutti to imagine.”
Architect and urban planner, together with colleagues Lodovico Barbiano di Belgiojoso, Gianluigi Banfi and Ernesto Nathan Rogers, Enrico Peressutti was one of the founders of the BBPR group, and counted as one of the most innovative designers in the complex story of contemporary Italian architecture. The work of Peressutti and the BBPR group ranged from the design and construction of buildings such as the famous Torre Velasca in Milan to the field of design and graphics, leaving a lasting trail of their influence. He was one of the major figures of 20th century Italian architecture, with projects ranging from construction to urban planning, as well as design and photography, an expressive form that he explored together with others, with passion and superb results.

Ernesto Nathan Rogers was born in Trieste to a British father and an Italian mother. He received his degree in architecture from the Politecnico di Milano in 1932. In the same year he founded BBPR architectural studio with fellow students Lodovico Barbiano di Belgiojoso, Enrico Peressutti and Gian Luigi Banfi. In the period between the two world wars, Rogers’ activity coincided with his commitment to the BBPR studio. As editor-in-chief of two important architectural magazines, “Domus” (January 1946 – December 1947) and “Casabella” (1953 – 1965), and in particular with his famous articles, Rogers progressively defined an original theoretical approach to architecture.



torre velasca

Start of the construction program

RICE (Ricostruzione Comparti Edilizi) S.p.A. started the reconstruction program of a building of about 9,000 square meters in the area between Via Pantano, Via Velasca and Corso di Porta Romana.


torre velasca

Planning stage

RICE entrusted BBPR (Banfi, Belgiojoso, Peresutti, Rogers) with the project. At the time, the City regulation called for a volumetric plan with a closed courtyard, with buildings an average of 30 meters high to a total volume of 143,000 cubic meters in the area.


torre velasca

The idea of an innovative design

The new volumetric plan proposed by the BBPR studio substituted the City regulation with two curtain wall buildings and a central square dominated by a skyscraper.


torre velasca

People began to talk about the “Tower”.

In exchange for a reduction of the overall volume, the release of much of the ground floor for public use and the free sale of 1650 square meters, the City Council agreed to the construction of the skyscraper. Right from the beginning, municipal deeds mentioned the tower.


torre velasca

The design phase ends

After two years of work with the engineer Arturo Danusso of Turin, the BBPR studio completed the tower project.


torre velasca

Work begins on the “Velasca”

The construction of the tower, already called Velasca during the construction phase, began.


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Torre Velasca joins the movies

Torre Velasca’s film debut was in the Dino Risi film “The Widower” where Alberto (Alberto Sordi) and his wife Elvira (Franca Valeri) lived on the nineteenth floor of Torre Velasca.


torre velasca

A project that lives over time

The architect Ernesto Nathan Rogers, one of the four members of the BBPR studio, died. Gian Luigi Banfi had died back in 1945 in a Nazi concentration camp. Enrico Peressutti passed away in 1976, and Lodovico Barbiano del Belgiojoso in 2004.


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Torre Velasca becomes a star

The writer and journalist Aldo Pasetti published a collection of stories about the miracle of Torre Velasca.


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Connections with the city

The Missori station on subway line 3 opened. It had a Velasca exit.


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International fame

Torre Velasca in the USA In his show “Milano upsidedown” at the Italian Cultural Institute in New York, Marco Petrus showed his paintings of Torre Velasca.


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A monumental work

The Superintendence for Cultural Heritage named Torre Velasca an historic landmark status.


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The beginning of a partnership

The American company Hines, in partnership with Prelios SGR, bought Torre Velasca from Unipol.



Redevelopment for the new Torre Velasca

Recovery and enhancement of Torre Velasca began, entrusted to the Asti Architetti studio.