"Milan is now home to an authentic time machine, created by one of the international geniuses of the twentieth century,” is how architect Stefano Boeri, President of Triennale Milano, presented the reconstruction of an interior from Casa Lana, designed by Ettore Sottsass, and the new exhibition hall named after the architect. 3 December 2021 saw the inauguration of the Sala Sottsass, a new hall in memory of architect and designer Ettore Sottsass Jr. set up on the first floor of Palazzo dell'Arte Bernocchi, home to Triennale Milano.
The hall includes a very special exhibit: a permanent installation consisting of a reconstructed interior from Casa Lana, a private residence Ettore Sottsass designed in Milan around the mid-1960s. The public will now be able to appreciate his design thanks to a donation made by Barbara Radice Sottsass which, along with a series of special donations, will form a section of the permanent collection of Triennale Milano dedicated to the architect’s work.
In addition to showing off this part of Casa Lana, Sala Sottsass will host temporary exhibitions and events casting light on various aspects of the Italian architect and designer’s work and philosophy, continuing the work undertaken with the first major monographic exhibition of his work, “Ettore Sottsass. There is a Planet”, which Triennale Milano hosted in 2017, ten years after the famous architect’s death.
The central core of Casa Lana, reconstructed in the Triennale, is described by Ettore Sottsass himself in the article "Una stanza nella stanza", "A room within a room", published in Domus magazine in 1967. The architect spoke of a space founded on the basic idea of a "little house within a room, or another room within a room". The central part is in fact a wooden construction composed of sofas arranged to form a protected place in which to sit and chat or listen to music. The space around this central core can be used for various other activities, eliminating the need for corridors so as not to waste any space such as that required to open and close doors. At the same time, this layout made the inhabitants feel like they were part of a bigger space, ".. one always has a total idea of one’s life, because it’s all there, a little piazza is created, where one can move and meet,” wrote Ettore Sottsass. The philological reconstruction of the space was made possible by in-depth study and restoration work in the Triennale by, among others: Luca Cipelletti, who designed the installation in central space on the first floor of the Triennale, and Christoph Radl, in charge of art direction for the project.
Beginning on December 3 Sala Sottsass will also host a series of exhibitions focusing on major themes addressed in Sottsass’s work, curated by Marco Sammicheli with installation design and graphics by Christoph Radl. The first exhibition, "Ettore Sottsass. Struttura e colore", open until 10 April 2022, casts light on the architect’s special focus on the relationship between people, with all their needs and rituals, and the space they live in.
Images courtesy of Triennale Milano, photo by Gianluca Di Ioia
The Casa Lana display
From December 3, 2021
Reinstallation design: Luca Cipelletti
Art direction: Christoph Radl
Photos: Gianluca Di Ioia
Ettore Sottsass. Struttura e colore
December 3, 2021 – April 10, 2022
Curated by: Marco Sammicheli
Exhibition design and graphics: Christoph Radl
Location: Triennale Milano, Viale Alemagna 6 20121 Milano - Italia www.triennale.org
opening hours Tuesday-Sunday
11 am-8 pm (last admission 7 pm)