The Palazzo del Ghiaccio in Milan is a beautiful Liberty style building in via Piranesi (Porta Vittoria area) that was heavily promoted by the national figure skating champion, Count Alberto Bonacossa. It opened on 28 December 1923 and its 1800 square metre rink made the Palazzo del Ghiaccio the largest covered ice-skating rink in Europe and one of the largest in the world at that time. The imposing roof made of iron, wood and glass was a successful combination of architectural virtuosity and engineering precision.
The Palazzo del Ghiaccio was not spared during the air raids of the Second World War and its internal decorations were severely damaged. It reopened to the public after the war and remained operational until 2002.
In this 80 year period, the Palazzo del Ghiaccio hosted many of the most important competitive sporting events that were held in Milan and, as well as performances on the ice, it also featured boxing, fencing and basketball competitions; the venue was also used for amateur sporting activities, entertainment events, fashion shows and cinema screenings. There were also memorable concerts, including Adriano Celentano’s debut performance at the “Festival Italiano del Rock and Roll” del 1957, the “Sei giorni della Canzone” featuring Mina in 1959 and concerts and performances from renowned artists like Giorgio Gaber, Enzo Jannacci, Luigi Tenco, and Pink Floyd in 1971.
The major refurbishment work, which was managed by the architecture firm 5+1AA and completed in 2007, restored the pre-existing functions of the building, while re-qualifying and rationalising the spaces from an architectural perspective.
The Palazzo del Ghiaccio has acquired a new modularity that makes it a multi-purpose space that can host a wide variety of events: shows, concerts, fashion shows, gala dinners, exhibitions, conferences, fairs and corporate meetings.