Most of the real estate owned by Fondazione Fiera Milano accommodates exhibition and congress facilities. Its current layout is the result of a complex and rapid transformation process led by Fondazione over recent years to give Milan and Lombardy a more competitive system that could also “relieve” the city of a presence – the exhibition pavilions which had gradually sprung up around Milan’s Fairgrounds (where the former April Trade Fair was staged) – that was certainly valuable but not very compatible with the daily lives of Milan’s inhabitants.
The first project for the new district in Rho-Pero, designed by Fiera in 1995, was very austere and unpretentious: 10/12 pavilions and a central corridor with very few buildings. This was the starting point for the international call for tenders that was to attract some of the leading architects in the world. Massimiliano Fuksas won the bid, largely due to his covering for the central axis, later known as the “sail”.