Hotel NH Collection Milan Citylife

Hotel NH Collection Milan Citylife
Hotel NH Collection Milan Citylife

From the redevelopment of the former Cristo Re church, which had been deconsecrated and abandoned since the 1990s, the brand new four-star NH Collection hotel was born in the Portello-Fiera area of Milan.

The conversion project, conducted by Quattroassociati, is aimed at preserving the significant connotative value of the historic building in an urban area that is undergoing rapid transformation. Privileging the centrality of the imposing volume and its morphological layout, the intervention, in the name of an absolute conservative respect, reinterprets the volumetric qualities and stylistic figurations of a late Mannerist architecture, functionally translating them into a strong hospitality program impact. As a continuation and completion of the structure, additional volumes are created which, juxtaposed and connected in a harmonious morphological unity, house 185 rooms, conference rooms, rooftop bar with swimming pool.

ESA has supported the work of the architectural designers by adopting plant engineering solutions with high energy performance, paying great attention not to alter the aesthetic aspect of the spaces. This was possible thanks to the installation of water-cooled heat pumps that exploit groundwater as a thermal source, through the construction of geothermal intake and output wells. The heat pumps are connected to a condensation ring maintained at a variable delivery temperature, through the use of heat exchangers fed with well water. The air conditioning system provided is of the water-water type with chilled and hot water terminal units, mainly with 4 pipes. In the usual perspective that pushes ESA to identify the best opportunities, in terms of optimization of existing resources, a rainwater recovery system has been envisaged which, thanks to the aid of an intelligent irrigation system, guarantees high savings both in water and economic.

The acoustic design was primarily based on satisfying the requests by the regulations in force regarding passive acoustic requirements (DPCM 5/12/97) and acoustic impact; subsequently, the acoustic comfort for users was studied, based on more stringent guidelines and specifications, in order to meet the high standards required by NH. The team therefore researched and implemented strategic solutions on various fronts: the architectural acoustics concentrated on the in-depth study of the reverberation of the various environments (restaurant, congress centre, hall, etc.), the insulation of the façade was increased in order to guarantee a reduction based on the actual background noise of the area, and the acoustic correction of the technological systems has been implemented, evaluating the noise pollution also in the external areas pertaining to the hotel. The insulation of the internal partitions has been studied in order to guarantee a level of maximum tranquility and privacy for the guests of the structure. ESA engineering also took care of the final acoustic testing of the structures inside the building.

The success of an intervention is not determined only by technical and functional issues, but also by adequate aesthetic and design solutions. It is in this regard that the lighting design and the choice of lighting bodies were defined not only by functional needs, which could provide maximum visual comfort for the user, but also by real expressive needs, aimed at emphasizing details and enhancing architectural solutions details. Combining the historical value with contemporary needs has been a demanding challenge. More scenic lighting strategies have satisfied the need to achieve a theatrical effect for the outdoor spaces, preferring instead a welcoming and comfortable character for the common areas. Particular interventions, such as the creation of a majestic chandelier for the hall with a height of about 20m, were specially designed by the architect in close collaboration with the ESA team.


Via B. Colleoni, 14 – Milan – Italy

Completed in 2022

Surface Area: about 14.000 m²

Work Team

  • Client: CLH Srl – IGEFI Group
  • Concept, Executive & Local Architect:
  • Brand Operator:
  • NH Collection Hotel 
  • Structure Design, Construction Supervision:
    BI ESSE ingegneria
  • Direzione Lavori Generale:
  • MEP Design, Construction Supervision:
    ESA engineering 
  • Acoustic Design & Tests:
    ESA engineering 
  • Fire Safety Design:
    ESA engineering 
  • Lighting Design:
    ESA engineering 
  • Energy Consultancy; Hygiene Consultancy:
    ESA engineering 
  • Security, QS:
    Federico Belli
  • Photo Credits:
    Luca Girardini