30 April, Corriere della Sera
In the design district of Via Tortona, everybody knows it. Here, the Luxottica digital hub will raise. The eyewear giant has 9 thousand shops all around the world in over 150 countries and brands such as Ray-Ban, Persol, and licenses for Giorgio Armani, Bulgari, Chanel, Dolce&Gabbana, Prada, Valentino. The location chosen is at number 35, just before the junction with Via Stendhal between the NH Hotel and the T37 apartments, namely the old industrial area once occupied by General Electric, that closed down in the Nineties.
The company hasn’t made any official disclosure yet. In addition, from its headquarters in Piazza Cadorna, the company is working on another internal expansion project concerning the area around the Litta theatre. The acquisition was concluded last year, and it’s included in a project whose completion is expected by 2019. Luxottica aims at implementing some productive activities and a showroom, these interventions will concern the side of the building facing Via Tortona. Luxottica chose the location in Via Tortona a long time ago to showcase its products to the international clients, with events along the lines of the Superstudio by Gisella Borioli and the Megawatt managed by Milano Space Makers. This time, the company decided to move here altogether.
The former General Electric headquarters had been acquired several times after they were sold to the group Cairati, which requalified the area nowadays accommodating Fuorisalone. The space stayed for about one year and a half on the market without finding a buyer, it was then acquired by the entrepreneur Leonardo Del Vecchio (who founded the Luxottica in 1961).
Now, the group aims at recovering the industrial area, preserving the existing spaces and renovating the façade and focusing on research, sustainability and innovative production systems.
This is a big change for the neighbourhood, which is getting towards the permanent conversions of its spaces with the consequent real estate relaunch of the area, awaiting the developments of the former train stations (Porta Genova and San Cristoforo, which will be linked by a green area) that separate Via Tortona from Naviglio Grande. The neighbourhood is back being a key point for design. Gone is the nightlife and the street parties that the people of Fuorisalone didn’t appreciate that much. Among the protagonists of Fuorisalone, there are Opificio 31, as well as Base, Museo Mudoc, the hotels Magna Pars and Nh Hotel, and the Giorgio Armani showroom, the “lord” of Via Bergognone.
Source: Corriere della Sera
Translator: Cristina Ambrosi