Mixed use | Restoration and conservation

Former Falck Areas Recovery

Sesto San Giovanni, Milan | Italy


Sesto San Giovanni, Milan
MilanoSesto S.p.A.
Architectural design
Foster + Partners
Services Provided
Structure design | Construction management
Mixed use | Restoration and conservation
Construction technique

Europe's largest urban regeneration

The compendium of the former Falck steel mills in Sesto San Giovanni, on the outskirts of Milan, is affected by Europe's largest urban regeneration. 45 hectares of green space with five squares acting as a hinge between old and new Sesto San Giovanni. The historic, steel industrial buildings are recovered and refunctionalized to integrate into the master plan with residences, services, the station, the health city and the large park.

The historic buildings of the former steel mills, which are being upgraded, will house differentiated activities, such as commercial activities, restaurants, bars, covered markets, exhibition and entertainment spaces. The idea behind the project is that the new spaces will be built, not as a replacement for the pre-existing buildings, but rather integrated with them, with the possibility that in the future there may be a re-functionalization of the spaces, and then the new elements can be disassembled and removed, leaving the nature of the historic building intact.


OMEC is an industrial building built, starting in the early 20th century, in two different phases. The re-functionalization project, which envisions its use as a food market and cultural center, prescribes its seismic upgrading. For the southern portion of the building, with a reinforced concrete structure, the most damaged elements are to be replaced and reinforced with fiber-reinforced materials. The steel structures of the northern portion are recovered through sandblasting and painting and, where necessary, are reinforced with plates or coupled steel elements.
New horizons are made of steel structure and trapezoidal sheet metal with concrete casting. New steel columns are coupled with existing ones to increase the lateral stiffness of the building. The masonry infills are restored with a "scuci-cuci" technique and reinforced with fiber-reinforced mortar.


Building T3, which housed the steel mill furnaces, is an imposing steel structure with welded-section columns made of thick plates on reinforced concrete plinths. Longitudinal metal beams, also of welded section, formed the runways for the overhead cranes. On the roof, consisting of trusses, metal beams and purlins, supporting sheet metal and corrugated panels, the characteristic "bull horn" shaped chimneys stand out.
It will house mixed functions related to retail, sports, entertainment, leisure and food&beverage, integrated into the building with the "box in the box" idea. No horizontal loads will be transferred from the additions to the existing structure. A new basement is planned, used for parking and technical rooms.
The new interior volumes are made of steel structures supporting CLT panels with collaborating concrete casting. They are connected to each other by bridges consisting of steel truss beams, suspended over the beams on which the cranes ran, designed to carry much higher loads than the new walkways.

Rolling Train

The Rolling Train building is developed lengthwise, with a load-bearing structure consisting of metal truss beams supported by lattice columns set at regular spacing.
The roof trusses are covered with corrugated sheet metal.
Rigid welded beams run the length of the building, once used as crane tracks.
Similar to the T3 building, the re-functionalization project includes new mixed steel and wood structure volumes, which in this case constitute a new intermediate floor a steel and wood structure.

The master plan

The master plan in which the re-functionalization of the historic buildings is included envisions the creation of public spaces, interconnected by pedestrian and vehicular paths, to serve newly created mixed functions and derived from the regeneration of pre-existing industrial buildings.
A model of ecological and sustainable development on an area of 1.45 million square meters, it will create a real city within a city, where an estimated 20,000 people will live and work, surrounded by a 45-hectare park, a real green lung spread across the entire metropolitan area of Milan that will integrate with the historic industrial architecture of the place.

Related projects

Milan Ingegneria SpA

C.F./P.I. 08122220968


Via Thaon di Revel, 21
20159 Milan - Italy
T +39 0236798890


Santa Croce 458/A
30135 Venice - Italy
T +39 041 5200158