Striking colour,

Milestone references – 70 years of nora floor coverings

From Weinheim to Milan:
Hitting the heights with “giallo fantastico”

“The Pirelli skyscraper is a symbol of Italy’s economic upswing. Over the years, it has defied the most adverse circumstances and remains an icon of the Milan skyline. The customised, individ-ual floor solution we developed is absolutely timeless and still highly appealing today.”

Matthias Brenk, Head of Production, nora systems

Pirelli Tower, Milan

For opera fans worldwide, Milan’s legendary La Scala is one of the top addresses. Soccer fans, on the other hand, make their pilgrimage to the Giuseppe Meazza Stadium, popularly known as the San Siro. But there is another Milan landmark that literally stands out and can be seem from miles around. The Pirelli skyscraper is the tallest building in Milan and reaches up an impressive 127 metres into the Lombardian sky. Construction began in 1956 and eventually consumed a total of 60,000 tonnes of concrete. Ceremonially opened in April 1960, the building has 32 floors and provides around 17,500 square metres of space. It was named for the world-famous Pirelli tyre manufacturing company, which commissioned the tower as its corporate headquarters. Even though Pirelli sold the tower 18 years later to the regional authority of Lombardy, it still retains its iconic name and status.


The tower was designed by star architect Gio Ponti, who is also famous as a designer of coffee machines, porcelain and furniture. The “Pirellone” is his most important architectural work. When he designed the building, he wanted a particularly striking colour for the floor and created a rubber covering in “giallo fantastico” (fantastic yellow). More than four decades later, the building was badly damaged in an aviation accident and the floor suffered considerably too. The search for a replacement eventually led to Weinheim, with the aim to recreate an authentic replica of the original colour. Accordingly, our experts headed over to Milan to work with the local team. The renovation was due to begin in 2003. The nora systems specialists worked from old photos to assess the tone of the bright yellow before heading back to Germany to work on samples. The result was our custom “noraplan vario vivace” product. Gio Ponti, who sadly died long ago, would certainly have been delighted with the rebirth of his creation.

Project at a glance


Pirelli skyscraper, Milan

Special feature:  
The city`s tallest building
Gio Ponti
Installed area:  

5.000 mnoraplan vario vivace

© Photos:
Andreas Förg
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