NH Collection Milano City Life, Milan
NH Collection Milano City Life, Milan

The skyscrapers of CityLife are nearby, but the new 4-star unit in the NH Collection looks more to the past than to the future: that of the Cristo Re church from the 1930s on Via Colleoni, abandoned and deconsecrated, which the architecture firm Quattroassociati has regenerated and reinterpreted for new uses.

“We were looking for a balance between existence and presence, taking the original pilaster strips of the nave and repeating them everywhere: in the façade, the lateral wings, the tower, the terraces. This recurring architectural motif gives the building a new verticality that combines elegantly with the columns of the hall, 11 meters in height,” says the architect Michele Reginaldi, in charge of the project.

Along with the pilaster strips, memories of religious architecture resurface in the design of the plan – a Latin cross with three aisles, left intact – which now contains the reception, with a backdrop resembling a golden pipe organ, where an extra-large chandelier suggests a cascade of light.

Or in the round arches and the spans, a prelude to the private spaces of the guestrooms: 185, including 10 duplex suites, furnished with design pieces in a sartorial vein, against a backdrop of floors and walls in pale contemporary hues. The lighting is by Flos and Firmamento Milano, in the corridors, and on the walls of the Tailors restaurant there are photographs of models in looks from the 1950s and 1960s.

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On the upper level one reaches a rooftop with a cocktail bar and a swimming pool, also open to use by visitors not staying in the hotel, because as Marco Gilardi, Operations Director NH Hotel Group Italia and USA reminds us, “today hotels are becoming more like places of daily life, open to the city.” All around, a very livable garden forms a color contrast with the optical white of the entire structure, which when seen from a distance resembles a stylized cathedral, pale and very elegant. The sole hint of the hotel function? People going in and out with their luggage.