Rai Antenna - Rai Way

Rai Way, one of the headquarters of the RAI control centre, is tucked into the vegetation in via Mirabellino. Its purpose is to carry out checks on radio waves from the broadcasting sites. The interesting rationalist-style building was designed in 1950 with cutting-edge technical-scientific criteria by the architect Gio Ponti, designer of the Pirelli skyscraper in Milan; it has a curvilinear shape that evokes a parabolic antenna. It was created to house the control equipment and is still in use today.

In the rear section, that almost seems to contrast with the curved lines of the forepart, there is a rectangular building that once housed the concierge and the engineer-director of the plant, but which is now used as a canteen. The Rai Way headquarters retains some original furnishings and fittings of significant interest and entering the building is like stepping into a small, but hugely fascinating, world.

The Control Centre in the park in Monza was built to replace the Sesto Calende plant. It was 1929 when, a few years after the birth of Italian Radio, a first ‘Control Laboratory’ was built in Sesto Calende for the verification of signals and radio broadcasts. However, in the Fifties, a few months after the beginning of regular television broadcasts in Italy, the decision was taken to build a new centre equipped with cutting-edge equipment and the chosen site was Monza Park, a location that could guarantee the ‘electromagnetic quietness’ necessary for the measurements and monitoring. Born with the radio, and then transformed thanks to television, the Control Centre is still today at the cutting edge of the digital revolution of the third millennium.