Franco Albini

Franco Albini (1905-1977) was a major figure in the Italian Rationalist Movement, excelling in architectural, furniture, industrial and museum design.

Albini received his degree in architecture at the Politecnico di Milano in 1929 and began his professional career working at Gio Ponti and Emilio Lancia's design studio. He also contributed to the influential Casabella magazine which played a key part in his development, marking his conversion to the Rationalist Movement and him becoming its spokesman on the Italian cultural scene.

When he set up his own practice in Milan in 1931, he took on the challenge of workers’ housing and continued in this vein after the war, thanks to the opportunities offered by the reconstruction projects he worked on from 1952, with Franca Helg.

Milan and Genoa is where Albini left his strongest imprint. For the Lombard capital, he planned the development of the stations on Line 1 of the city’s subway system (1962-63), in collaboration with graphic designer Bob Noorda. His numerous urban development and building projects for Genoa include the Palazzo Bianco (1949-51), Palazzo Rosso (1952-62), and Tesoro di San Lorenzo (1952-56) museums.

Franco Albini was the recipient of many honors in recognition of the importance of his cultural contributions and received numerous prizes, including the Compasso d’Oro, the Bronze Medal from the Parson School in New York and the Royal Designer for Industry title awarded by the London Royal Society of Arts.

In all his work, from home furnishings to industrial and museum design projects, Franco Albini always instilled a logical consistency, an extreme purity of expression and exceptional ethical and historical integrity.

The architectural and design work of Franco Albini represents a keystone of the Italian architectonic culture from the early 20th century through his intense activity revolving around a creative and rigorous approach to composition and building that expresses a particularly high degree of estheticism.

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