Curated by: Rosanna Pavoni, Margherita Pellino
The Magistretti studio has a long history. Its first owner, from 1933 to 1945 , was Pier Giulio Magistretti, father of Vico, as well as architect, together with Muzio, Portaluppi and Griffini of the Arengario of Milan.
Vico inherited it in 1945, on the death of his father, when he was a young graduate in Architecture at the Milan Polytechnic.
The studio is at the center of a crossroads, via Vincenzo Bellini and via Conservatorio, overlooking the churchyard of the church of Santa Maria della Passione which often made Vico say “here it is beautiful, it looks like an 1850 square in Busto Arsizio”. The studio is small, so small as to arouse amazement in those who enter it, but its dimensions bear witness to a working "method". “My office is very small because I decided from the beginning to be an architect and a designer not a manager. I wanted to make sure I had enough free time to think. I thought that if I were burdened with all the tasks a manager has, I wouldn't have to think about how I was planning, or rather why I was planning. "
With the Magistretti Revisited exhibition, the Foundation goes back to its origins and recalls the studio where Vico worked for over sixty years with the surveyor Franco Montella, his historian and extraordinary assistant. The drawer units - some of which belonged to Pier Giulio - the drafting machine, the panels on the walls covered with notes, postcards, drawings and photographs, the models scattered here and there, the glasses placed absently on the counter, the surveyor's pack of cigarettes bring the location and evoke the atmosphere of the place. When, in 2010, the Magistretti Foundation opened to the public the large entrance room where Franco Montella worked (surrounded by drafting machines, cabinets, dressers, tables, chairs, prototypes) it became the space for temporary exhibitions. In the original study there was a rational “disorder”: sketches, drawings, telephone numbers and design intuitions coexist and mix with photos, letters and newspaper articles of everyday life. All this material constitutes the heart of the Magistretti Foundation: the archive. Recognized as "of particular historical importance" in 2007, it has always been the basis of the museum's activities: from in-depth studies to exhibitions, conferences and meetings with the public. The historical archive is now accessible to everyone at the archive.vicomagistretti.it.
The architecture: The Magistretti Revisited exhibition begins with the first interior architecture projects, with participation in the Triennali of reconstruction and the economic boom up to the most famous buildings in Milan and beyond. An interesting example of Magistretti's early years of work is the Bordogna apartment in via Borgonuovo in 1948. An elegant apartment of the Milanese bourgeoisie, in which Vico redesigns above all the living area and entrance by breaking down a series of partitions and creating a real open-space in which stands a fireplace communicating between two rooms.
Continuing the visit to the exhibition, there are also projects of an industrial nature such as the Famagosta depot (1989-2001), in which the idea of lighting a workplace with large skylights-sheds is one of the most innovative expedients. by Magistretti. Finally, looking up at the walls, you can see the photographs of the Tanimoto house in Tokyo (1985-86), a “typically Japanese” house with a European flavor, like the small tribute to Milan on the surrounding wall. For further information on the projects visit archivi.vicomagistretti.it.