Main façade
PWC Libeskind Tower

The facades feature flat glazing that follow the geometry of the building. The curvatures are achieved by varying the angle of inclination at the vertical and horizontal joints between the units. The toroidal geometry of the North elevation is defined by flat trapezoidal units that follow with, a broken line, both the arch in plan and the arch in section. In plan, the adjacent units form a slight angle between them, which is absorbed in the joint between the mullions.

On vertical section, the curvatures are created by varying the angle of inclination between mullions and transoms whose faces always remain parallel to the horizontal plane. For this reason, that angle varies from floor to floor, in accordance with the architectural drawings. The aluminum profiles composing the frame elements have been designed and produced according to project specific structural and functional requirements. In order to define the appropriate structural and thermal performance, the bespoke facade has been certified through a formal test procedure.

The typical size of the panels is about 1500mm x 4100mm, although it is not possible to identify a constant module in all the elevation due to the complex geometry of the tower. The total surface area of the envelope is approximately 27,075 m2.

South elevation has been developed following a study on the behaviour of light and energy reflections, generated by the convex shape of a cylindrical surface. To avoid a critical concentration of energy on the square, the cylindrical surface was split up with vertical glazed panels, giving the façade its characteristic stepped shape. The horizontal steps consist of PPC painted aluminum flashings, insulated with high-density shielding mats to ensure thermal performance, and to avoid the rain drumming effect.

The module of the shelf horizontal panel coincides with that of the units and an electric coil is integrated inside as an anti-freeze system to avoid ice formation in the event of snowfall or temperature drops. The stepped course required the use of a spandrel panel on some floors. This shadow box consists of glass and PPC painted aluminum. Full-height glazing feature on floors 1 to 13, whilst shadow box panels are provided in front to the slab for the upper floors. The shadow box constitutes an integral part of the unit which will thus have a "knee" appearance.

Despite the unusual geometry of the main body of the tower, its "Crown" is what really characterizes this high-rise construction, which is inspired by the typical vault of the Renaissance domes. 600 tons of steel and glass make up the 40 meters high top of the building, which conceals the plantrooms. The unitized building envelope is supported by a complex system of steel ribs as a continuation of the mesh of the pillars from the lower floors.

Access to the building is defined by a large space of about 20 meters high: the lobby. It represents a flexible and transparent area, from which the wood and stone texture of the back wall called the “feature wall” stands out, aimed at hiding the mezzanine support structure and the electrical and mechanical systems. The office floors extend up to the 28th level of the tower, of which the last two (27 and 28) include a two-story executive office and a double-height conference room. Given the curvilinear geometry of the building, the shape of the floor plan and its surface varies from level to level. The curved façade of the tower consists of sustainable, innovative, and high-performance glazing, designed to reflect the public space below and the surrounding views.

The overall design of the tower has been conceived by Studio Libeskind and SBGA in accordance with the best construction practices and environmental sustainability criteria, which makes it one of the most recognizable buildings of the new Milan’s skyline.

Daniel Libeskind
Daniel Libeskind
Born in Postwar Poland, Libeskind immigrated to America with his family becoming an American citizen in 1964. He received his professional architectural degree in 1970 from the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York City, then a postgraduate degree in History and Theory of Architecture at the School of Comparative Studies at Essex University (England) in 1972. Since establishing his practice in Berlin in 1989, Mr. Libeskind has designed major cultural, commercial and residential projects around the world. These include the master plan for the World Trade Center and the Jewish Museum Berlin. In October of 2011, his firm, Studio Daniel Libeskind, completed its redesign of what is now Germany’s largest museum, the Military History Museum in Dresden. The same month Hong Kong’s City University celebrated the opening of the Libeskind-designed Run Run Shaw Creative Media Centre. The Studio has several projects under construction, including City Life’s redevelopment of the historic Fiera Milano Fairgrounds in Milan. Among the many Libeskind buildings that have received worldwide acclaim are The Felix Nussbaum Haus, in Osnabrück, Germany (1998); the Imperial War Museum North in Manchester, England (2002); the extension to the Denver Art Museum and the Denver Art Museum Residences (2006), the Royal Ontario Museum (2007) and the Glass Courtyard, an extension to the Jewish Museum Berlin,(2007); the Ascent at Roebling’s Bridge, a residential high-rise in Covington, Kentucky (2008); the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco (2008); and Westside, Europe’s largest retail and health center, located in Bern, Switzerland (2008). Daniel Libeskind Mr. Libeskind has taught and lectured at many universities worldwide. He has received numerous awards including the 2001 Hiroshima Art Prize — an award given to an artist whose work promotes international understanding and peace, never before given to an architect. Mr. Libeskind’s ideas have influenced a new generation of architects and those interested in the future development of cities and culture.

SBGA | BLENGINI GHIRARDELLI is based in Milan, and its portfolio includes Urban and Architectural Design, Interior and Industrial Design.

Pragmatic and multidisciplinary are the words best describing its work approach to complex projects. Their passion for innovation and creativity enables them to create functional projects and become emerging players in the international market. Social and environmental issues lead their approach to projects, inspiring them to think in creative and responsible ways.

PWC Libeskind Tower

PWC Libeskind Tower

The Curved One” has been conceived as part of an ideal sphere encompassing and completing the Tre Torri Square

Project Specs

  • Location: Milan
  • Client: CityLife
  • Contractor: CMB
  • Year of completion: 2020


  • Ph. Piermario Ruggeri


PWC Libeskind Tower


Insulated triple glazed unitized curtain wall

PWC Tower, with its 175m height it is one of the three new office buildings of Citylife development in Milan.

The building features a curved volume with a concave façade stepped to the South and convex to the North. This iconic shape is the expression of the architectural concept that takes inspiration from the Renaissance dome. Daniel Libeskind designed it as part of an ideal sphere that encompasses and embraces the square below.

Its quadrangular plan (63mx25m), with the long sides to the South and North, is slightly rotated towards the East. The typical inter-storey height of the offices is 4.1m, whilst the floor 29, intended for the plants, has an inter-storey of 5 m. From the floor slab 30 up to the top of the building there is the Crown void volume which contains technological elements and maintenance equipment.

In compliance to project specification, Focchi has designed and manufactured a building envelope consisting of TGU unitized system that features Argon cavities, low-e coating, solar coating, and warm edge spacer. The TGU glazing are structural silicone bonded on the aluminum frame. Vertically, there are PPC painted aluminum external beads on the mullions.

Designed by

Daniel Libeskind Architects
SBGA Achitects

Live Project

“Brunelleschi was able to bring back the idea of the dome as an urban civic gesture embracing the citizens and that is the genius that continues to inspire us. City means being together, it is about a shared notion of reality, it's about people sharing something beyond themselves. The dome has a tension to the city itself because it is a celebration of an embrace. The form of the dome is a gesture of love.”

Daniel Libeskind

PwC Tower, nicknamed “the curve” completes the Tre Torri Piazza below as the third and last skyscraper envisaged by the redevelopment masterplan of the former Milan Trade Fair, now better known as CityLife.

The 30-storey building, 175 meters high, is characterized by the curved volume given by the concave stepped facade to the South and the convex facade to the North. Works of the Italian Renaissance have inspired Daniel Libeskind’s architectural concept. The iconic curvilinear shape of the Tower is a tribute to Michelangelo's Pietà Rondanini and Brunelleschi dome, and it is conceived by the architect as part of an ideal sphere intent on embracing its counterparts, Torre Allianz and Torre Generali, and completing Piazza Tre Torri.


Other Façade Systems

The Crown façade

The Crown curtain wall, consisting of special units, unique pieces of remarkable size, encloes a single volume at the top of the building that houses the cooling towers and the BMU equipment.

These façades, which have no weather tightness requirements, consist of a single skin unitized system with a laminated safety glass inserted in a PPC painted aluminum frame.

As a mitigation measure against reflections on the square, the South elevation features a screen printing covering on the 30% of the surface of each glass.

On the East and West elevations glass alternates with hot dip galvanised PPC painted steel mesh with a 90% perforation percentage to ensure adequate ventilation of the plant area.


The use of high-performance glazing for the façades, the photovoltaic panels of the dome, the extremely efficient air conditioning system and the rainwater recovery and recycling system, have contributed to the achievement of the LEED™ (Leadership in Energy and environmental Design) GOLD rating certification, meeting the environmental sustainability prerequisites envisaged by international standards.