Giuseppe Terragni, Villa Bianca, Seveso (Italy), 1936-37

Giuseppe Terragni, Villa Bianca, Seveso (Italy), 1936-37

Giuseppe Terragni, Villa Bianca, Seveso (Italy), 1936-37

Corso Giuseppe Garibaldi, 87, Seveso MB, Italy

Villa Bianca is located in Seveso, north of Milan. Giuseppe Terragni worked on the project under ideal conditions: the house was destined engineer and entrepreneur in the field of construction… a really wealthy client, Angelo Terragni, Giuseppe Terragni’s cousin. This aspect gave the architect free hands to carry out an operation that fully reflected his architectural ideals, without compromises and avoiding upsetting changes in the execution stage.

The project for Villa Bianca was drawn between April of 1936 and the middle of October of the same year. The building works were completed in 1937. Terragni was  drawing the different solutions for plan and section, wanting to have full control over the outcome and show the exact location of each element.

Villa Bianca is a great example of Italian Rationalism. Building reveals Terragni’s research on shape and play with composition. The building is located on the left side of a large rectangular plot of land, so the villa can be seen from the national Giovi road. Building occupies a small part of land, rest of which is mostly garden. Villa consists of two over-ground floors and a basement. The building volume stands on a platform anchored to the ground, almost detatched, while the overhanging veil that completes the top looks suspended, separate from the structure below – nearly disjoined, free as a stand-alone element that reveals light structural link with the building below.

Unlike the solutions used in contemporary buildings, the building structure is not based on a grid of columns and beams but on bearing walls, “cut out” to open up the strip windows and stained glass. Only in coverage appear slender pillars, surmounting the walls to support the horizontal plates, perhaps elements of greater characterization of the building. The ribbon windows cut the external supporting walls, while doors and windows are slightly protruding from the fronts.

Villa Bianca in Seveso was described as illustrating exaple of how each technical choice, thanks to the “fantasy “and” sensitivity “of the architect, fitted perfectly to the formal solutions and had therefore reasons that are not exhausted in elementary functionalism.

Terragni was also in charge of furniture.

The building, restored with great care, is now used as exclusive residence.


  • Casa Pirelli at
  • Villa Bianca at
  • Luigi Caccia Dominioni at
  • Villa Bianca at
  • Villa Bianca at
  • Giuseppe Terragni , Bologna 1980, pp. 14-15, 132-137, 205
  • Giuseppe Terragni 1904-1943 , Milan 2005, pp. 503-508
  • Construction – Casabella of December 1940, dedicated to the “Villas modern“, Villa Bianca in Seveso
  • Archive Giuseppe Terragni, Villa Bianca, No. 39
  • Archive Giuseppe Terragni, Correspondence and correspondence technique in Villa Bianca in Seveso
  • Zevi, History and counter-history of architecture in Italy, Rome 1997, p. 534D’Amia
  • Giuseppe Terragni. Besides rationalism, Como 2003
  • Béatrice Julien Meda 1904 – Como 1943, L’Architecture d’Aujourd’hui 298, avril/april 1995, p.78 ( 74-82 (55-82))
  • Ada Francesca Marcianò, Giuseppe Terragni. Opera completa 1925-1943, Officina Edizioni, Roma 1987, pp. 175-180
  • Bruno Zevi, Spazî dell’architettura moderna, Einaudi, Torino 1973, tav. 323 [V. La vicenda italiana]