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Hotel Crowne Plaza Milano, Italy


The city of Milan plays a great role in the development of business and design, creating job opportunities, cultural events and encounters, such as the Rho-Pero, the redevelopment of the business district, the new convention center that has been built on the site of the old fair halls, the European Library and the forthcoming Expo 2015. In this scenario, the new Crowne Plaza Hotel has been recently built.

The copper-clad hotel building had to overcome some technical issues relating to site conditions, in particular the existing subway station.  The presence of the subway station introduced many structural constraints on the design of the hotel.  Luckily, the engineers for the subway project – MSC – had anticipated the possibility of future building development and had designed their structure to support further building work.  In designing the hotel, the architect - Isabella Franco - collaborated with the same engineering firm to realise the final design.

Another design issue was how to incorporate the hotel on a corner site with two neighbouring mixed use buildings of 7 and 9 floors.  The solution was to embed the subway mezzanine and an elevator (on the side of one of the adjacent buildings) into the hotel structure.  The architectural element that characterises the project is the curved façade, allowing the building to sit comfortably in its urban context whilst providing a visual distinction from its neighbours. 

The base of the project is continuously glazed and the aluminium windows frames are painted cream/white, thermally insulated with a hidden shutter and glazed with extra light shatter-proof glass.  The façade material is pre-oxidised copper, chosen for its dark brown colour and durability.  Similarly, other elements of the building, the canopy and roof, are clad in pre-oxidised copper.  The façade away from the street faces into a large open courtyard.

Inside, the furnishings were specified by the hotel group’s design team.  The distribution of space within the hotel is functional:

  • Ground floor: entrance hall, including a striking block of elevators and the lobby lounge with bar
  • First floor: dinner and conference facilities
  • From the second to seventh floor: guest rooms
  • Eighth floor: additional rooms
  • Ninth floor: sauna, spa, turkish bath, two suites.  This floor is set back from the main facade and faces north-east, towards the mountains.  Also on the ninth floor are the air handling units, the boiler and chiller units.
  • Underground: garage, partly for private use, for a total of 150 parking spaces.


Sondrio srl
Completion date: 
Zip code: 
Via Merchiorre Gioia 73


Facades/Part seams
Type of building: 
Hotels, accommodation
Copper used: 


Name, office: 
Arch. Isabella Franco
Address & description: 
Via Lazzaretto 14, 20124 MilanoTel.02-2024.0270Supervisor: arch. Isabella FrancoCollaborators: arch. Valentina Marconi

Copper contractors

Address & description: 
Posa facciata in rame: Della Cagnoletta; Impresa Edile: Metron srl; Strutture: MSC Associati s.r.l. Dott. Ing. D. Campagna; Collaudatore: Prof. G. Guala; Collaudatore impianti: Ing. Harrasser; VVF: Ing. Galbiati; Impianti meccanici: Viscardi Impianti; Impianti elettrici: G.R. Electric; Struttura in ferro: Cosme; Insonorizzazione: Biobyte; Serramenti e facciate: CNS; Bussole ingresso: Ponzi.

Find out more

Nick Hay

Preliminary design: 2002
Working plan: 2003 – 2005
Realization 2004 – 2008

Total floor area: 3.379,57 m2
Parking area: 1152 m2
Green surface: 612,91 m2

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