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Gae Aulenti


Biography

World-renowned architect and designer Gaetana “Gae” Aulenti (1927-2012) graduated with a degree in architecture in Milano in 1954. A ten-year collaboration with the historic magazine Casabella-Continuità (1955-1965) turned out to be of key importance in her development.

Her early constructions (home with stables in San Siro, home in Brianza) and furniture designs (Sgarsul rocking chair, reinterpretation of the 1862 Thonet armchair) reveal a neo-art nouveau style and a critical re-reading of modern architecture, in vogue in the debate in Casabella in the ‘50s and ‘60s.

After important participations in the Triennale di Milano in 1960 and 1963, she undertook profitable partnerships with Olivetti, Fiat, Max Mara and Knoll, designing showrooms, offices and exhibitions in Italy and abroad.

In addition to her industrial design projects (for Artemide, Poltronova, and Fontana Arte, among others), Aulenti’s long career includes interior architecture and a series of major renovation projects, including the Gare d’Orsay in Paris, transformed into a museum (1986); Palazzo Grassi in Venice (1986); the National Museum of Catalan Art in Barcelona (1995); the Scuderie Papali in Rome (2000); and the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco (2003).

She also designed sets for RAI, Teatro la Scala in Milan, and Odéon-Comédie Française in Paris and worked with Luca Ronconi at the theatre design workshop in Prato (1976-1979).

Aulenti has taught at IUAV in Venice and at Politecnico di Milano. The many awards she has won include a Legion of Honour in France (1987) and the Praemium Imperiale in Japan (1991).

Gae Aulenti famous works and projects

- Museo and Dante metro stations and redesigning of Piazza Cavour and Piazza Dante, Naples (Italy), 2005
- Asian Art Museum, San Francisco (USA), 2003
- Renovation of Scuderie Papali, Rome (Italy), 2000
- Renovation of Piazza Cadorna, Milan (Italy), 1999
- Plan for the Italian Cultural Institute, Tokyo (Japan), 1998
- Italian Pavilion at Expo ‘92, Seville (Spain), 1992
- Clock, pen, pencil and fountain pen for Louis Vuitton, 1988
- Conversion of Gare d’Orsay into a Museum, Paris (France), 1986
- Renovation of Palazzo Grassi, Venice (Italy), 1986
- Installation at the National Modern Art Museum at Centre Pompidou, Paris (France), 1985
- Parole lamp – Table with wheels - Fontana Arte, 1980
- Knoll showroom, Boston (USA), 1971
- Elementary schools, Meda (Italy), 1969 and 1974
- Fiat showroom - Salone dell’automobile in Turin and Genoa (Italy), 1968 
- Olivetti store, Paris (France), 1966
- Pipistrello lamp - Martinelli Luce, 1965
- Max Mara offices, Milan (Italy), 1963
- Sgarsul rocking chair - Poltronova (1962)
- Single-family home in Brianza (Italy), 1958
- Home and stables in San Siro, Milan (Italy), 1956

Official web site

www.gaeaulenti.it

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