With a surface area of 92,000 square metres, distributed over 200 shops, restaurants, cafés, plus an indoor and outdoor sports centre, the Arese Shopping Center is Italy’s largest shopping mall.
This innovative mall was opened in April 2016 on the outer boundary of Milan on the site of the former Alfa Romeo factory. It is the result of a complex project that involved three archistars who each took part in the various implementation phases: Arnaldo Zappa defined the external layout, Michele De Lucchi designed the façade, introducing the use of wood and porcelain stoneware; finally, Davide Padoa of Design International designed the building itself, enhancing it thanks to his expertise in the retail sector.
The planning project was inspired by the great shopping malls around the world. It stands out thanks to its size and its unique, iconic design, with its very own history and retail spaces that blend perfectly with the design by architect De Lucchi, above all in the Hypermarket area and the Fashion Court.
Inspiration for the Fashion Court came from Covent Garden, and is structured with a contemporary system of inner courtyards, to create areas in which people can meet and gather. The Hypermarket was also designed with an unusual concept in mind, and includes a sort of extension outside the actual store with an area dedicated to “fresh produce” inside the Food Court.
The architecture is also distinguished by an internal ramp that is reminiscent of that leading up to the Guggenheim Museum in New York, and by the Mirage porcelain stoneware flooring with a thickness of 20mm
The use of porcelain stoneware by Mirage in a thickness of 20mm – comments Roberto Bollani, Project Leader of Sviluppo Arese, the person-in-charge of the urban planning and works management – allowed us to obtain an immediate advantage: namely that of allowing large trucks and heavy vehicles to move around freely during all stages of the work, without the need to provide a cover and adequate protection for the flooring on the building site. This allowed a saving of over €400,000.
This cost saving will continue over time. This is because porcelain stoneware in a 20-mm thickness guarantees the resistance and ultimate tensile strength needed for the machinery that will be used also for roof and structural maintenance.
With over 60,000 square metres, Mirage provided all the flooring and wall coverings for the project in porcelain stoneware, spread out over 5 collections to offer different solutions depending on the project requirements: In the Food Court and outdoor areas, a combination of stone-effect and wood-effect tiles from the Norr and Signature collections have been used, while items from the Tribeca, Na.me, Jewels and Stones 2.0 collections have been alternated in the restrooms and other common areas inside the mall.