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Piazza Duca D'Aosta - Milan
Milano Centrale is Italy’s second largest station in terms of size and traffic volume. It is an impressive site, with an imposing and majestic architecture, located right in the heart of the capital of Lombardy. Today Stazione Centrale represents a key hub for city services and Milan’s shopping areas, as well as the main junction for High Speed rail and links with the rest of Europe.
Facts & Figures 72 metres is the span of the Main Arch (reference photo), the largest ever constructed in Italy. 11 thousand m2 of marble used to refurbish the floor and wall coverings.
It was called the Cattedrale del Movimento (Cathedral of Movement) by Ulisse Stacchini, the Rome architect who in 1912 won the national competition to design the city’s first main railway station. In fact, Milan was served by two small stations, Porta Nuova and Porta Tosa, which weren’t even connected with one another.
Milano Centrale was perceived from the start as the nerve centre for national and international movements; a modern building to revitalise and give prestige to the city, becoming a symbolic landmark identifying the Milanese capital, which at the beginning of the Twentieth Century found itself face to face with Europe’s economic and industrial history.
At the height of the Belle Époque era, the station’s construction became an important event for the city of Milan. From the very first design presented by Stacchini there was a sense that the station premises should be arranged to offer all station users, and not just travellers, a comfortable and leisurely ambience. In fact, it was proposed that a large hotel be constructed inside the building.
Stacchini’s eclectic monumentalism and art deco style had a huge influence on the design of the station which over the years was altered to meet the needs of the city and increased services for Milan’s inhabitants.
The Great Renaissance
In 2005 we started a major project to refurbish and improve the station premises.
The Milano Centrale project is one of the most important architectural schemes to restore and protect a civil building in Italy and is particularly significant in view of EXPO 2015.
In fact the Stazione Centrale is becoming the city’s favourite showcase, the place where visitors are welcomed from all the world, but also an important centre for the local neighbourhood and the entire city.
The work to restore the premises, vaulting and walls has returned the station to its original splendour.
In fact, the supervision of the Cultural Heritage Department (Sovrintendenza) also offered the opportunity for the restoration work to expose the beautiful features hidden beneath the passage of time, such as the bas reliefs in the great Atrium created by the sculptor Alberto Bazzoni, the mosaics created by Basilio Cascella showing Italian cities and the flooring with the Great Imperial Eagles in the Gallery areas.
The station’s restyling included cleaning the friezes and decorations; pedestrianizing the Galleria delle Carrozze and moving the taxis outside; opening up new areas inside the station and changing the location of the ticket offices.
All the works were carried out at height without obstructing passenger movement, rail traffic and service delivery.