MAD Architects Unveils Dynamic Design for the MoLo (Mobility and Logistic hub)

Set along the western boundary of the Milano Innovation District (MIND) – a recently-developed neighbourhood bringing together cutting-edge scientific research and education, business and leisure facilities northwest of central Milan – MAD Architects, led by Chinese Architect Ma Yansong, has unveiled renderings of a monumental gateway complex.


Named the MoLo (short for Mobility and Logistic hub), the complex is 28.5m high with a length of 170m and a width of 50m. Working with Architect Andrea Nonni, Open Project and Progeca, MAD’s design comprises an outside gross surface area of 68,800m2 and a gross surface area of 11,195m2, bringing together several facilities across over 11 square miles. The MoLo was designed to perform as a welcoming entrance and education space for issues related to mobility in which visitors can drop off their cars to explore the district on foot and see innovative transportation technology in person.

With seven levels above ground and one underground, the MoLo includes three 3000m2 of commercial space on the ground floor, as well as laboratories, offices and a supermarket. Visible from nearly all angles, however, the dazzling five-storey parking structure is the centrepiece of the MoLo. With a capacity of 1500 automobiles, the parking structure was designed as a gateway for those arriving from the Rho municipality and other main routes along the western half of MIND. Because the MoLo is situated on the border between two municipalities, the complex design aims to dissolve that separation through a public interchange tunnel crowned by a sculptural set of polished metal staircases.


Site area: 9700m2

Building area: 68,700m2

Building height: 28.5m

Architectural designer: MAD Architects

Project leader and project manager: Architetto Andrea Nonni

Executive architecture, engineering, coordination and LEED: Open Project

Structural and MEP engineering, acoustics, LEED: Progeca

Principal partners in charge: Ma Yansong, Dang Qun and Yosuke Hayano

Associate partners in charge: Andrea d’Antrassi

Design team: Romina Carpentieri , Alessandro Fisalli, Paolo Pirri, Francesco Nardacci, Aldo Schirripa Spagnolo, Francesco Pasta, Anna Spaggiari and Elena Bellocchio

Like several other projects by MAD Architects – including Gardenhouse in Beverly Hills and One River North in Denver, Colorado – the MoLo is designed as an integration of nature and architecture. The main facades, for instance, will be adorned with lush vegetation that will beautify the neighbourhood while capturing airborne carbon. The use of vertical landscaping as a design element also allows the MoLo to blend into the verdant landscaping of its surroundings visually. In addition, an open gallery near the public interchange tunnel cuts diagonally across the ground floor along the centre of the building in an effort to blur the boundary between indoor and outdoor while physically connecting the MoLo to the nearby Rho-Arese park. The ceiling of the gallery is marked by a large cloud-like sculpture that undulates in the direction of pedestrian movement.

True to the new district’s commitment to sustainability and 21st-century technological innovations, the MoLo will be assembled within a prefabricated concrete frame structure in accordance with the Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DfMA) method, a standard for ensuring a streamlined and efficient construction process that reduces material waste and labour hours. In addition, the complex will be developed in accordance with the green building certification programme LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), and will house a photovoltaic field of panels spanning more than 8000m2 on the upper surfaces that will act as an abundant source of renewable energy for the surrounding district.

The MoLo is the latest of many projects MAD has designed in Europe, following several installations for Milan Design Week and 71 Via Boncompagni, an adaptive reuse project located in the heart of Milan. Altogether, it weaves innovative functions with cutting-edge technology and striking form to demonstrate what the future holds for transportation systems in urban centres around the world.

Share this article

Login to post comments

About us

Future Constructor & Architect is a specification platform for architects and building contractors, which focuses on top-end domestic and commercial developments.

As well as timely industry comment and legislation updates, the magazine covers recent projects and reviews the latest sustainable building products on the market. Subscribe here.

Privacy policy

Latest updates


Sign up below to receive monthly construction, architecture and product updates from FC&A via email: