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In 1999, the Milan City Council began the process of transforming the former Ansaldo factory site into a cultural area. In 2015, during the Milan Expo, the City Council inaugurated the MUDEC, an acronym of Museo delle Culture (Museum of Cultures), one of the buildings that forms part of the masterplan for this City of Cultures. The project was designed by the London and Milan offices of David Chipperfield Architects.

The long history of the project is now told in a book, which has been published by 24 ORE Cultura, the company that manages the museum and organises exhibitions in partnership with the City Council. The publication features an introductory dialogue between David Chipperfield and Giovanni Leoni, professor of History of Architecture at the University of Bologna, accompanied by an essay on the resilience of this political architecture, and is concluded with a synopsis by Giuseppe Zampieri describing the long and complicated process of design and construction. The book is illustrated throughout with photographs by Christian Richters.