“La Soglia Magica”

The work of architect Nicolin is unveiled today with a theatrical performance inspired by Andrée Ruth Shammah

Milan, 20 April 2011 – “La Soglia Magica”, a work jointly designed by architects Nicolin, Marinoni, Calzoni, Di Gregorio, which includes the display of a work by artist Garutti within, was unveiled today.

In June 2009, SEA launched the competition called “La Porta di Milano” with a view to expressing the idea that today Malpensa is the new gate of Milan to the world. As a matter of fact, it connects the administrative centre of Lombardy with 168 destinations, including 86 outside the UE.

The jury – chaired by Gianpietro Borghini, Head of Institutional Affairs within SEA, and also including Sandrina Bandera, Head of Historical Heritage Protection for the Provinces of Lombardy, as well as architects Mario Bellini and Gregorio Caccia Dominioni and sculptor Arnaldo Pomodoro – chose “La Soglia Magica” among over 80 projects from all over the world. Works started at the end of September 2010 and finished six months later, in March 2011.

A performance by the Teatro Franco Parenti company, choreographed by Susanna Beltrami, was held during the unveiling event.

The airport gains a new architectural structure that celebrates the idea of a “threshold”, which is rendered by an impalpable curtain made by a blade of light that materializes thanks to gusts of fog and lightens up the wide space where the passenger passes to access or leave the airport. The blue dot-shaped led lights on the floor guide the passenger evoking the lights of the taxiways. The external cover, visible from the Arrivals area, features a welcome sign, i.e. a sloping garden roof with two birch bushes on either side. The hall, about 900 sq.m., is meant to host art galleries too. In the part of corridor heading towards the Malpensa Express station visitors may admire the work of Garutti, a stone with the following inscription: “every step I have taken in my whole life has led me here, now”.

“Airports are not just transit places visited by passengers only, but structures where millions of people every year stop by, work, arrive and stay. And the number is expected to increase over the next years. Consequently, the need to welcome, accommodate and entertain these people prompts us to choose leading-edge projects such as “La Soglia Magica” – said Giuseppe Bonomi, Chairman of SEA – because it goes beyond the simple architectural project and indeed offers an extraordinary emotional experience on a both aesthetic and visual level, which memorably welcomes anyone who is arrives in Milan offering them the chance to see the inscription, artwork in the artwork, that is dedicated to them.”

The work required a capital expenditure of 1.7 million euro, specifically a government subvention by the Ministry of Infrastructures, paid through Enac.