Design International, Finiper unveil IL CENTRO shopping centre

April 17, 2016 | By RetailME Bureau

Italian hypermarket giant and mall developer Finiper and UK-based design firm Design International recently unveiled IL CENTRO, the largest shopping centre in Italy and one of the most innovative retail developments in Europe.

In the 90s Finiper had purchased the former site of Alfa Romeo – one of the Italy’s most admired motorcar brands. This site has set the scene for what has finally become, with over 990,280 sqft of GLA, the largest shopping centre in Italy and one of the most avant-garde pieces of architecture in Europe, designed Design International.

Conveniently-located on the north west corner of Milan – between Malpensa airport, Lake Maggiore, lake Como and Switzerland – the IL CENTRO shopping centre is estimated to attract over 15 million visitors in the first year of operations and is set to become a new benchmark within the retail real estate industry.

In June 2014 Finiper patron and founder Marco Brunelli appointed Davide Padoa, principal architect and CEO of Design International, to review both the architectural and the commercial positioning of the ambitious development.

Design International formulated an indoor-outdoor city street concept where single shops were treated like standalone buildings or palazzos within the shopping centre’s main building. Integrated in its innovative design are tree-lined internal and external streets, squares, grand staircases, children and recreational areas, balconies, a multitude of restaurants and cafés and a great diversity of site-lines where shops and signages are always the ultimate focal point, all of which arouse curiosity, emotions and, above all, stimulate a fantastic shopping and entertainment experience.

“IL CENTRO has transformed the old site of Alfa Romeo from a factory of cars to a factory of experiences, with the largest number of brands ever realised in Italy within a new, larger, porous generation of malls where indoor and outdoor spaces live in synchrony. Drawing IL CENTRO was like painting a town, with the habits and tastes of its citizens in mind,” shares Padoa.

IL CENTRO features a Fashion Court, inspired by London’s Covent Garden, which is home to some of the most important international brands, including the first Primark in Italy, H&M, Zara, Massimo Dutti, Superdry and MAC, to name but a few.

Flagship jewellery stores – including Swarovski and Bottega del Regalo – appear in their dedicated Palazzo, and Iper la Grande has been transformed into an innovative Market Place where fresh products of the hypermarket are brought into the mall in permanent kiosks where guests can experience live cooking shows, consume in situ or carry away freshly made meals. The Market Place climbs with a ramp from the ground floor to a large restaurants’ court on the first floor, resembling the ramp of the Guggenheim Museum in New York – only this time food and taste are the arts on display.

The green and multi-strata polycarbonate roof structure is made from sustainable materials and supported by 40 meters long timber beams, which represent one of the largest wooden structures ever built in Europe for a shopping mall. The entire complex is designed according to strict criteria of energy saving and bio-sustainability, in line with the standards promoted by the US Green Building Council to achieve the prestigious LEED ® Gold level certification.

Tall trees enrich the retail streets both outside and inside, creating a real garden with kiosks and restaurants, bike trails, children’s games and other activities related to sport and health. IL CENTRO also has a medical centre managed by Humanitas.



Previous Article Next Article


Union Coop, a consumer cooperative in the UAE, revealed that 78% of 

Continue Reading

August 24, 2021 | By Jibran Chouguley

Union Coop has opened its 23rd branch within the UAE in Jumeirah 

Continue Reading

August 2, 2021 | By Jibran Chouguley

Nando’s has revealed their revamped Sheikh Zayed Road outlet where newcomers and 

Continue Reading

July 8, 2021 | By Jibran Chouguley

UAE-based Al Maya Group announced that it will be boosting import of 

Continue Reading

June 24, 2021 | By RetailME Bureau

UAE-based grocery retail chain, Grandiose has opened its first hypermarket in Abu 

Continue Reading

June 2, 2021 | By RetailME Bureau

UAE-based Carrefour announced its theme and plans for Ramadan 2021. The brand 

Continue Reading

March 31, 2021 | By RetailME Bureau

Locally owned supermarket Spinneys celebrates 60 years of doing business in the 

Continue Reading

March 9, 2021 | By RetailME Bureau
Almarai, Carrefour, Emirates have the most loyal customers

UAE-based Carrefour will become the first retailer in the region to offer new levels 

Continue Reading

February 22, 2021 | By RetailME Bureau

The Organic Farmers’ Market is back in Bay Avenue for its 12th 

Continue Reading

February 17, 2021 | By RetailME Bureau

UAE-based  Lulu Group recently inaugurated its first-ever all-female staff store in Jeddah, 

Continue Reading

February 15, 2021 | By RetailME Bureau
Jones the grocer

Jones the Grocer, the gourmet grocer and cheese retailer launches the Jones 

Continue Reading

February 1, 2021 | By RetailME Bureau

UAE-based Al Maya Supermarkets is hosting a two-week food festival at select 

Continue Reading

January 17, 2021 | By Lawrence Pinto

Download Images RetailME Magazine