ACCESS TO AUTOGRILL’S “MERCATO DEL DUOMO”
GALLERIA VITTORIO EMANUELE II, MILANO, ITALY, 2013 - 2015

The project renews this access and the large void connecting the spaces, managed by Autogrill inside the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan, occupied by the “Mercato del Duomo”. The setting was reconstructed from the original pattern of solids and voids in the Arcade, built between 1865 and 1878 to a design by Giuseppe Mengoni. The atmosphere of the courtyard, originally open, was recreated by removing the roof closure and replacing it with a transparent awning to let in natural light. The escalators in the end wall of the small cloister link the four floors of the store, creating a central void which leads the eye upwards to admire the verticality of the space. The use of mirrors in the frames heightens the perceived largeness of the space. The choice of materials, colours and finishes was likewise made with a view to conservation. Use was made of the marble in the original floor, and scraped plasters to enhance the spaces. The sculpture of a bronze olive tree by Adam Lowe symbolizes the Mediterranean gastronomic and wine-growing culture and nature to be protected. Looking upwards, people can see the roots of the tree, because it is under the ground that life begins.