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Lumens in Milan: A Trip to CityLife

Written by Kelsey

Offering a multi-functional community of residential and commercial space, CityLife Milano is a design destination worth a closer look. Acclaimed architects Zaha Hadid, Arata Isozaki and Daniel Libeskind designed the project to include three skyscrapers, luxury residences, stores, offices, restaurants and services including a massive green space and pedestrian-only ground-level access.

Rendering showing concept, CityLife is still under construction. Image via

Located in the heart of Milan, the project spans 90 acres with more than half of that area dedicated to green space. Special care is being taken during construction to preserve trees on the site and to keep noise and pollution down. The project is dedicated to green building and advanced alternative energy systems, with some of the offices already earning Gold-level LEED certification.

Apartments with Hadid’s skyscraper design.

But back to the design of it all. Zaha Hadid is already well known in design circles (and to Lumens) for her curvaceous signature builds, installations and product designs.

The Lumens team recently made a trip to Milan for Milan Design Week, which included a special event at CityLife. The space was a natural choice for Italian design brand Alessi to host a top-level dinner in a CityLife penthouse designed by Hadid, given that the accessories giant has newly released Hadid’s final product design before her death in 2016—the Forma Cheese Grater. Indeed, the beautiful grater had a place of honor on the dinner table at an exclusive, invitation-only gathering with Alessi CEO Marco Pozzo and USA General Manager Paolo Cravedi.

The dinner party at Citylife, put on by Alessi.

Our own Vice President of Merchandising, Patricia Kittredge, attended the penthouse party, rubbing elbows with jet-set design retailers. But she wasn’t too busy hobnobbing to notice the exquisite design. She likened the Residenze Hadid penthouse’s wood and cement construction–wrapped around an impossible number of curves and rounded edges—to that of a ship, where even the oblique-angled windows felt more like portholes than a high-rise apartment. This is classic Hadid, who has often been referred to as the “queen of the curve.”

Image via

Decked out in Alessi accessories and FLOS lighting, including a whimsical children’s two-in-one bedroom outfitted with Marcel Wanders’ Circus collection, the penthouse party served to solidify the notion that design is in everything and everywhere–an idea we can certainly get behind.

Perhaps Kittredge says it best: “Our designers are not just creating beautiful and innovative products, they are designing for a way of life.”

About the author



When she’s not polishing up promotions as a web content specialist for Lumens, Kelsey is practicing how to properly pronounce Danish, if only to be able to say “home is where the ‘hygge’ is.” Aside from Scandinavian design, she spends a lot of time thinking about organic gardening, mini farms, honey bees and England.

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