No. 313 . 29 November 2006 
ArchitectureWeek
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Milan Trade Fair

by Debra Moffitt

"When you build one million square meters, you really don't know if what you envisioned will be good or bad," says Massimilliano Fuksas, the Rome-based architect for the New Milan Trade Fair. The 10.8-million-square-foot convention complex, which opened in April 2006, has a mile-long canopy that wows visitors with its whimsical flair, transforming a glass and steel structure into a fabric that billows and then touches down like tornados to the floor.

Constructed near Malpensa Airport, this unconventional center has been touted by the Italian press as on par with the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao by Frank Gehry and is considered to be Italy's new pilgrimage site.

The convention complex defies any notion that what is functional must be boring. The canopy or "sail" as Fuksas calls it, is like a whim, solidified and concretized, while underneath, serious work gets done in exhibition halls, cafes, and offices.   >>>

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