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Renovating Milan’s Teatro Lirico Opera House

Reality Capture Guru
January 6, 2016

Renovating Milan’s Teatro Lirico Opera House

Milan’s Teatro Lirico theater was opened in 1779 and hosted opera, ballet, and theatrical performances into the 20th century. It was almost completely destroyed by a fire in 1938, but was rebuilt and reopened in 1939.

The original building was designed by Giuseppe Piermarini (who also designed Milan’s Teatro alla Scala, more commonly known as La Scala). Antonio Cassi Ramelli designed the rebuilt theater. In 1998, Teatro Lirico was shut down after the City of Milan (who then owned the facility) decided it could longer afford to operate and maintain the theater.

Renovating Milan’s Teatro Lirico Opera

Work is now underway to renovate and modernize the theater. Last month at Autodesk University 2015, Autodesk representatives working with the City of Milan on this renovation effort described how Reality Computing has been instrumental in capturing the existing conditions of the theater and jump-starting the renovation. You can download and read about the whole project from the Autodesk University website (http://au.autodesk.comScan to BIM for Retrofitting Historical Buildings—Milan’s Teatro Lirico Opera House Renovation, presented by Ilaria Lagazio and Davide Rigoldi), but here’s a short description of the team’s Reality Computing efforts.

Renovating Milan’s Teatro Lirico

The almost 10,000 square meter, 1500-seat theater will cost more than 16 million euros. In 2014, a technical team used a Leica laser scanner to capture the details of the theater’s geometry. In seven days, the team scanned the building interior and exterior, producing 550 scans with 6.5 billion points.

The point cloud data was imported into Autodesk software to generate an extremely accurate 3D virtual model of the theater in its current state. The Autodesk products used included:

  • ReCap: for point cloud management
  • Revit: for the creation of the 3D existing conditions model and the development/assessment of design alternatives
  • 3ds Max: to generate photorealistic project visualizations


Renovating Milan’s Teatro


Click here to download the AU handout materials* and click here to see a video showing the ‘scan to BIM’ process used by the City of Milan.

* FYI, you need a login & password to download material from, but you can get those for free just by registering at the site. As a side note, if you ever want to explore or learn more about Autodesk products or topics related to the industries/workflows that use Autodesk products , this site is a very useful resource.

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