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The Rainbow Tower

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Rainbow Tower is a recognizable mark in the cityscape of Milan. A group of companies transformed reservoir Porta Garibaldi and returned it to its original splendor in a colorful tribute to the creativity of Milan.

Dating back to 1964, the anonymous water reservoir on the site of the important FS Milano Porta Garibaldi railway station was first renovated ahead of the football World Cup held in Italy in 1990 – a project that turned a downtrodden public works into a highly recognisable urban beacon. Since then, the Torre Arcobaleno (Rainbow Tower) has been a highly significant building for the city, a distinctive symbol of Milan’s colour and creativity and has gradually become known as a major landmark.

The project was designed by the Original Designers 6R5 Network and produced by Bazzea-B Construction Technology, Condor, Row Solutions, Mapei and Marazzi. The companies, including some of those handling the first refurbishment in 1990, came together to clad this unusual urban structure with more than 100,000 coloured ceramic tiles and to regain all its original brightness.

The partner firms in the Torre Arcobaleno renovation project, carried out the project with the supervisory approval of the City of Milan Public Works and Urban Furnishing Department as the guests of the Italian State Railways. As in 1990, the project was prepared and the works organised by the Architecture Division of the Milan firm Original Designers 6R5 Network, represented by Francesco Roggero, Albino Pozzi, Rita Alfano Roggero and Kiyoto Ishimoto.

The renovation – all the costs of which were met by the project’s partner companies and architects is a gift to Milan and the millions of visitors it will be welcoming during Expo 2015. The works were completed in just 71 days, employing 37 workers. The colours of the Torre Arcobaleno express the desire to inhabit our planet intelligently, creating a harmony between technology, nature, innovation and tradition.

Studio Original Designers 6R5 Network: Project & Organization

It acted as general coordinator, designer and organizer of the initiative. The Rainbow Tower is part of the project Wonderline, developed by Original Designers 6R5 Network, which connects a number of years to color theme several initiatives in the world of art and architecture. The colors of the Rainbow Tower represent the desire to live the planet intelligently and in harmony between technology, nature, tradition and innovation.

Bazzea: Machining and Restructuring Tower

It conducted the operations of cleaning of 1.000 square meters of ceramic surfaces, which were attacked by fine dust in the high part and metals – especially iron – in the lower part. It erased the graffiti that marred the surface and finished it with a special paint — antigraffito. It replaced the missing & damaged tiles and repaired & painted 22 ribs in concrete 35 meters high. Finally, to improve the protection of the structure from the elements, the roof of the tower was provided double waterproofing.

Condor SPA: Supply and installation – structures and scaffolding

It oversaw the design, providing the equipment and systems. The scaffolding used is Multicom multidirectional. The characteristic of this system, namely the multi-directionality of the coupling anchor of crosspieces and uprights, allowed to modify the scaffold as per the convex sections of the tower, in a uniform and adherent to the circular wall, with a system of internal overhangs realized by means of specific accessories. With the performance of this system, the structure was built to the highest quality standards, without impacting the architectural form of the Tower and in a very short time.

Fila Solutions: Cleaning Products Technical surfaces

It was responsible for the cleaning and protection of the external facade of the Rainbow Tower. To clean the glazed ceramic tiles, which were ruined by ferrous oxidation and smog impregnated into the material, the company set up a treatment with its descaling acid concentrate that effectively removed dirt and to remove graffiti at the bottom of the tower, used another solution. Finally, to protect the tiles effectively, they were applied with anti-graffiti and dirt solution that creates an invisible barrier on the surface and prevents the accumulation of dirt making it easier and faster to clean.

The Garibaldi zone of the nearby Piazza Gae Aulenti is the acknowledged nerve centre of the city’s business, fashion and modern architecture. The zone, now restyled by futuristic skyscrapers, has adopted the Torre Arcobaleno as its “Colourful Ceramic Totem”, there to remind people of Italy’s Master Potters and the craft origins of an industry famous all over the world for its Italian excellence.

Mapei: Technical Products for Adhesives

It provided for the preparation of the surfaces by removing the tiles loose, general cleaning of surfaces and the removal of loose particles and subsequent repainting. It helped restore the concrete ribs, the painting of the pillars of the tower, laying new tiles & grout, sealing of the joints and waterproofing of the roof of the circular tower.

Marazzi: Tiles, modular 10 x 10 in 14 Colors

Like in 1990, it again provided the collection of tiles in 25 colours, three surface finishes (glossy, matte and textured non-slip), four sizes and two structures – 3D relief effect and ideal ally.

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