Stone World

Dressing the airport in Milan style

March 21, 2002
The Milan Malpensa Airport makes extensive use of Pietra Dorata sandstone for its vertical surfaces.


The stone was adhered with aluminum supports and brackets for a "ventilated" cavity wall installation.
Renowned around the world as a city of fashion and style, Milan, Italy, offers a broad array of spectacles for the visitor. And with the renovation of the Milan Malpensa Airport --with its diverse applications of Italian sandstone --these sights are available even before travelers begin touring the town.

The sandstone was generously used as wall cladding throughout the airport. The material --which is called Pietra Dorata sandstone --is quarried in central Italy at Manciano (near Grosseto). It was supplied by Solmar, S.P.A. of Cant¿, Como, Italy.

The stone, which features a light beige tone with soft waves of dark brown running across the surface, was used as cladding in many of the airport¿s public areas. According to Fabio Molteni of Solmar, the sandstone was utilized as 30- x 60-cm panels with a thickness of 2 cm. The architects at Studio Sottsass specified that the stone be employed in a large-format running bond pattern, which highlights the sandstone¿s signature soft veining. Moreover, the light tone of the stonework is enhanced by the dark terrazzo that was used for the wall bases and flooring.

The stone was adhered with aluminum supports and brackets for a "ventilated" cavity wall installation. In all, a total of 12,000 square meters of sandstone panels were used throughout the airport.