Velasca Tower

Located in the heart of the historic business district, at close proximity to the Duomo, Velasca Tower, with a soaring height of over 106 meters and 27 floors, represents an impressive catalyst element in the prestigious, scenic skyline.


Velasca Tower, protected by the Heritage Authority, has been acquired by Hines in 2020, through a newly incorporated Real Estate Investment Fund managed by Prelios SGR, and is currently undergoing by Asti Architetti a renewal process that, absolutely respectful of the architectural and cultural significance of this landmark and its square, intends to provide a program able to guarantee the functional and energy efficiency required for every building today.

The interiors will host a combination of different activity and service-dedicated destinations planned and organized in order to activate an efficient fluidity and dynamic functionality, for responding to the multiple, diverse requests and expectations of the contemporary, local community. The lower floors will be occupied by commercial spaces, restaurants and offices, while the upper part, will be reserved for luxury residences and multifamily apartments.


Combining a distinctive blend of traditional customization skills and the latest technical expertise, ESA engineering has played an active, crucial role in the revitalization and retrofitting process of this iconic landmark. Following the executive restoration phase, the group has realized the MEP Systems Design with Construction Supervision & Test, Lighting and Acoustics Design, Fire Safety Design, reaching LEED and WiredScore, Gold Certifications.


A thoughtful design, in compliance with future sustainable criteria, has been studied, creating an effective implementation of the mechanical services, such as ventilation, heating, and cooling, intended to ensure optimal results within different spaces and remain invisible to users. To guarantee thermal comfort and easy adaptation throughout the entire year, including the intermediate seasons, a centralized 4-pipe hydronic system was installed to satisfy both cooling and heating in accordance with the most suitable conditions. Water-cooling chiller units with evaporative tower system have been installed to produce refrigerated fluids and gas boilers have been reused to generate hot fluids. Primary air is provided by air treatment units with plate exchangers to safeguard health.


The electrical systems are divided according to the programs present inside the Tower: a system of MV (Medium Voltage) supplies power to the common condominium services; for the various tenants of office and residential destinations, has been dedicated LV (Low Voltage) supply, while for all those activities that require higher energy usage, restaurant, garage, and spa, has been reserved MV (Medium Voltage) supply. A Building Management System (BMS) was foreseen to control and optimize the energy consumption necessary to power the mechanical units. The tower has been equipped with a lightning protection system, in accordance with the latest safety norms, completely embedded into the structure. The real challenge from an engineering point of view was to incorporate and integrate the latest MEP technologies and systems, updating the standards to current regulations and safety codes to offer a respectful intervention in a 50s structure, hiding hydronic, aeraulic, and electrical distribution equipment, in pre-existing cavities and service areas.

The concept of Lighting Design stemmed from the recognition of the value of the Tower within the city’s fabric. An in-depth and complete study of the building’s architectural features laid the basis for a tailor-made project, enhancing its meaning and contextualization. ESA has designed both the illumination of the façade and the surrounding urban square, Piazza Velasca. The desire for innovation has never ignored the historical, monumental, urban character that distinguishes the tower. Dialogue is the keyword that binds contemporaneity and history, innovation, and identity, inspired by the movement and momentum that the city of Milan itself is experiencing.


Piazza Velasca 3,5  Milan – Italy

2020 - In progress

Surface Area: about 34.000 m²

Project Team

  • Client: Prelios Sgr Spa
  • Advisor: HINES Italy RE Srl
  • Concept & Development Architect: ASTI Architetti
  • Executive Architect: Fontana Architetti
  • Project & construction management: PRELIOS Integra
  • Architectural and urban planning coordination: Arch. Luca Mangoni
  • Structural Design, Construction Supervision: CeAS Centro di Analisi Strutturale Srl
  • MEP Design, Construction Supervision & Final Test: ESA engineering 
  • Lighting Design: ESA engineering 
  • Acoustic Design & Final Test: ESA engineering 
  • Fire Safety Design: ESA engineering
  • Environmental design: REEAS – Real Estate Asset & Assurance Service Spa
  • LEED Sustainability Certification: ESA engineering
  • WiredScore Certification: ESA engineering
  • Picture: Gary Ullah from UK – Duomo di Milano, CC BY 2.0, Thomas Ledl, CC BY-SA 4.0, Zairon, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons