03 May 2013


May is here... and while the world was either resting at home or protesting on the streets, this last May 1st (Primero de Mayo) I was moving homes from Zurich to Milano, ITALIA.

Do come back in a day or two.... while I get to "unpack" my first impressions of Milano.

Saluti e buona fortuna!

Follow up: Nearly a week since my arrival to this thriving city and a little more settled. I made my move "south-the-border" on Wednesday May 1. I got a direct train from Zurich-HB to Milano Centrale after a nice farewell by my girlfriend and friends at Rio Bar.

Thursday and Friday I finished setting up my studio-flat and other 'useless paraphernalia' such as domestic appliances, metro tickets, internet connection and so on. The process was surprisingly fast and smooth.

For accommodation I got a flat which belongs the Politecnico di Milano ("la residencia Archimede" here above). It is in a trendy 'Milanese' suburb walking distance from Garibaldi Train Station and only two train stops from the Politecnico's Bovisa Campus. Near my place there are couple of impressive towers recently completed, others near completion ... and other half-way through and currently under construction. A pair of those towers claim to be the world's first "vertical forest" with double and triple height balconies holding all sorts of vegetation.

The area is know as Porta Nuova and the planning and design has been carried out by the likes of SOM, Libdeskin (NY Ground Zero), Cesar Pelli, (the Petronas Twrs in Malaysia) and so on. My favorite spots include the Brera quartier, around the Duomo, Piazza Castello, la Colonne di San Lorenzo, Naviglio Grande and Porta Ticinese.... and I am sure there is a lot left to discover.

Now that I live in "the world's capital of design" what next?

This morning I got the last issues of architecture magazines the likes of casabella and domus. I came across an interesting design competition part of the Milano Expo 2015 titled: "Digital Ideas for EXPO-CITY 2015". The call is to develop ideas for the city of the future. Innovative concepts and solutions in the categories of Smart City, Mobile Applications and Digital Home&Office + Smart School. The winning entries will be developed as part of the Digital Smart City for Expo Milan 2015.
"Il concorso é promoso per reperiere progetti allo scopo di realizzare quelli di essi che si giudicheranno migliori per i fini aziendali di Telecom Italia ed Expo Milano 2015 per obiettivi e riconosciuti interessi della collettivitá, qualquelli indicati nel punto precedente."
 The competition will be promoted by Domus and associations of design, architecture, cultural and academia.... so I can say that at least I can expect this to be a vehicle to immerse into the local "fashionista-culto"! 

Bravo Milano - looking forward to unpack you!

GAM (7 di Maggio, 2013)

Panorama desde il Duomo di Milano. Citta vecchia. Meseo dll 1900 e glie edifici modernista e contemporaneo.
I vecchi simboli La Torre Velasca dll anni '50 di Gio Pointi. La Torre Velasca con la caractteristica forma "a fungo".

Il grattacielo Bosco Verticale in construzione, Studio Boeri.

Quartiere Lambrate: Feria dil Moble.

International Furniture Fair di Milano 2013 - (a massive event which takes place across the city).

Guillermo Aranda-Mena © 2013


  1. A lively account and delightful photos of the ' Milanese impressions' which right away stirred the artistic and creative intellect in you! Surely Milan is also thrilled to unpack you!!

    Guillermo abita la Cittá!

  2. Anonymous3.6.13

    Hi Guillermo

    It was very nice meeting you, and thanks for the good chats during coffee breaks. We have just had a great stay in Finale Ligure. It was very good for the family to end this period in Italy with a relaxing vacation. We have had a great time here in Milan, but it will also be great to come back home to our own house.

    Very nice photos. Is it ok to use some of them (with reference to you of course)? I might do a somewhat informal presentation of my experiences when I come home.


  3. Anonymous3.6.13

    Dear Guillermo

    I will look out for your 'Buildscape' blog… If only we had pushed ahead with our own panoramic studios I think we could have stitched up the market! Don't you think so Guillermo?

    Yes, now you have moved away from the frosty north of Europe! And of course now you are returning to the womb of Latin life. Milan sounds like a great city although when I went there I only had the chance to visit the conference centre.

    Best of luck… Keep in touch

  4. Anonymous3.6.13

    Hi Guillermo

    Thanks for the 'catch up'! Milan looks great. I am sure you will be fully inspired by the city of design! Expecting great things from you!

    We just got home from our small trip. Spent a few days in Bright to see the last of the autumn colours on the trees. Had two nice cycle rides and drove to the top of mount Buffalo. Then we moved on via Wagga Wagga to the NSW Blue Mountains for three days. Stayed in a pub/hotel at Blackheath. No cycling there but we visited the Norman Lindsay Gallery, the Mt Tomah Botanic Gardens (National Park) and Scenic World where there are three ways of seeing the vies and accessing the gorge: horizontal cable car between two peaks; inclined cable car to the forest floor, and funicular railway to the forest floor. We used all three (ticket price includes as many times as you like), and had a nice walk around the forest.

    Francine spoke to Paulina so she already knew about your sister's impending trip to Italy. I guess you will be seeing Carla again soon so we hope you all have a really enjoyable 'Milan experience'! Give both of them our love.

    Looking forward to seeing you in Singapore next month.