Palazzo Lombardia is a complex of buildings in piazza Città di Lombardia, located in a 33.700 m2 area (362.744 ft2) nearby via Melchiorre Gioia. It’s the seat of the Lombardy Council including the president and all the assessors. The works started in 2007 and the building was designed by architects Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, Caputo Partnership and SDPartners, who undertook a contract after winning an international contest, defeating 98 projects. The works finished on Marc 21st 2011 with an official ceremony for its inauguration.
However, a pre-inauguration had been made the previous year when a copy of the Madonnina (the statue on top of the Duomo) was put on top of the skyscraper on 22 January 2010. The central skyscraper of Palazzo Lombardia is equipped with 32 elevators, has 43 floors, is 161,3 m high (530 ft) and is surrounded by curved buildings, with six to eight floors. The buildings are connected by a covered ovoid square, that hosts events and public performances and with a capacity of 3000 people; there’s also a post office and some restaurants.
The total price was 400 million Euros, so the Council decided to unite all its offices located all over Milan in this new building and in the Pirelli skyscraper, in order to avoid the rents worth 25 million Euros per year. On the occasion of Expo 2015 the Council opened Palazzo Lombardia to all: it is now possible to access the panoramic viewpoint on the 39th floor and see the “Colonne dell’arte”, artworks by Italian and international artists exhibited at the entrance of the building, every Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm.