Cesare Cattaneo, Casa d’Affitto, Cernobbio, Italy, 1938

Cesare Cattaneo, Casa d’Affitto, Cernobbio, Italy, 1938

Cesare Cattaneo, Casa d’Affitto, Cernobbio, Italy, 1938. (view in google maps

Cesare Cattaneo (26 July 1912 – 24 August 1943) was one of the three most important architects of the Modern Movement in Italy in the first half of the twentieth century. He was a Como-born Rationalist architect graduated at the Politecnico di Milano in 1935. As a student he already gained quite some practical experience and his early work shows the starting point of his career and how it evolved during his life. Cesare Cattaneo not only reflects incredible & astonishing buildings throughout his work but clearly shows experimental architecture sculptures where he plays with material and composition.

In his work Cesare Cattaneo experimented with plasticity and did in depth-theoretical research that he adapted with great practical and functional consistency.

Casa D’Affitto at Cernobbio is the best known work, full of ideas that were implemented through research to make it mature and fully autonomous. The ‘client’ for this project was Cattaneo’s father who offered him to build this student house as a graduation present. This allowed Cattaneo to be fully free while working on this project and resulted in a one singular consistent project development in which his fantasy could take the lead to create the ‘ideal’ home.

The building is a rectangular plot that overlooks strada Regina, 15 meters wide and 12 meters deep and contains 4 floors. It shows a concrete composite structure towards the street and masonry bricks towards the rear building.The ground floor has a glass facade and the covered walkway leads to the staircase that goes to the floors. This solution that is on one side of the house ensures the ventilation through the building. The house has clear plaster and marble fragments, which is more durable and reliable compared to the usual white paintwork. The details of the house are well-thought through the entire building, from sliding windows to create an open to air and light solution to facilitation for cleaning and protection.

Cattaneo decided to take the third floor as his own living residence.




M. Leipoldt

Reviewed March 2017 by:

Sofiane Décombas-Deschamps

Darija Malesevic

Valentijn Veragten

Lode Borghs