Luigi Figini & Gino Pollini, Ambiente di soggiorno e terrazzo, VI Triennale di Milano, Milan (Italy), 1936

Luigi Figini & Gino Pollini, Ambiente di soggiorno e terrazzo, VI Triennale di Milano, Milan (Italy), 1936

Luigi Figini & Gino Pollini, Ambiente di soggiorno e terrazzo, VI Triennale di Milano, Milan (Italy), 1936

The Ambiente di soggiorno e terrazzo or Environment with living room and terrace was presented by Luigi Figini and Gino Pollini at the VI Triennale di Milano in 1936. The creation of those two rationalist Italian architects is in the continuity of their previous collaboration for the V Triennale di Milano three years before, the Villa-studio per un artista: they have attempted to “introduce Europe in Italy”, to elaborate a national version of the rationalism exuding the Mediterranean climate through the sensibility of volumes, the light, the colors and the inside-outside interpenetration.

     This environment wants to be, in the context of functional architecture, an aesthetic towards a return to poor, common and natural materials (without mediations or stylistic deviations) and to a Mediterranean atmosphere, which is in contrast with the blooming abuse of cold, fragile, expensive and luxury industrial products of the time. Botticino marble and plaster of pumice granules are used for the living room; ghiaitto, quartzite, pumice and porphyry for the terrace and the loggia.

     The concepts of series and modularity are explored here with a living room only containing essential elements: a table, wicker chairs, chairs made of wood and fabric and a mobile bookcase. Objects of daily use or coming from the traditional crafts are combined to produce different objects (the framework of M. Reggiani, F. Melotti’s sculpture, photography, and the tree furniture designed by the same architects), thus contradicting the criteria dictated by modern industrial. Everything is ordered in a unique atmosphere, between “material” objects and the “spirit” of nature (“the tree hovers over all”) and Art (two abstract works).

      « The team [Figini and Pollini] designed an ‘Environment with living room and terrace’ (1936), which they described as an established conciliatory position between the organic (vernacular) and the machine-age aesthetic. Coherent with this conceptual description of the project, the designers employed a floor-to-ceiling glass wall along with a rustic flagstone floor and anonymous vernacular objects like basic reed and wood table and chairs. » [1]

Read more about Figini and Pollini’s collaboration (in Italian).


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Additional image:

here is a photo of the Ambiente di Seggiorno e Terrazze at the VI Triennale di Milano, dating back to 1936.



Catalogo della VI Triennale di Milano, Milan Hoepli Editore, 1936

Figini e Pollini – Architetture 1927-1989, Vittorio Savi, Electa, 1990, p.39 (book)

[1] Modern Architecture and the Mediterranean: Vernacular Dialogues and Contested Identities, Jean-Francois Lejeune & Michelangelo Sabatino, Routledge, 2009 (book)

« Ambiente di soggiorno e terrazzo »,Paul Kuitenbrouwer, DASH #11 – Interiors on Display, Delft University of Technology, January 2015 (article)

Progettare per chi va in tram : il mestiere dell’architetto , Carlo Melograni, 2002, p 30

Il mobile déco italiano1920-1940, Irene De Guttry & Maria Paola Maino, Laterza, 1988, p 154