VICO (Lodovico) MAGISTRETTI – Architect

(Milan, 1920 – 2006)

He was an exponent of Rationalism in a style of unquiet refinement. A complex personality, he possessed a noteworthy ability to listen to the diverse experiences and cultural currents, from the style of Neo Liberty to the dramatic volumes of Wright, to the modulations of abstract art and programmatic art to Plasticism and Brutalist Architecture currents. After he graduated college in Milan in 1945 he began to work and operate in the climate of rebuilding after the war and with a consequent reaction to old rhetoric of monumental buildings and also with an optic of revision of the idealization of nationalism. He won the Grand Prize of the Triennial Exhibition of Milan in 1949 and 1955. His principal works are: in Milan, a house in Via S. Gregorio (1958-59), office buildings in San Babila square, the “Torre Parco”, a church of Q.T. 8, a building for offices and apartments in Via Leopardi, housing buildings in Aquileia square (1961-63); in Milan-Cinisello Balsamo, the Ina-Casa Pirelli neighborhood; in Milan-Rescaldina, a recreational complex; in Piacenza, apartment buildings; in Carimate (Como), the Golf Club House; in Arenzano, the building complex “Marina grande” (1960-63); a noteworthy attempt to resolve the problems of tourist housing through high concentration of isolated complexes instead than through intensive urban zoning; in Dalmine di Campana, Argentina, the urban planning and building complexes of the urban center; private villas in Como, Varese, Ello (1962), Ghiffa, Novara, Arenzano (1964), Genova; bank headquarters in Laveno, Solbiate, Olgiate; Ina-Casa buildings in Chiavenna, Morbegno, Somma Lombardo, Varese, Sondrio. He studied the problems of prefabricated buildings as consultant for the M.B.M. society for the homes built according to the Balency system. He was very active in the field of industrial design and won the Golden Compass Award in 1959 and 1960. In the 1980s in Parma Magistretti was responsible for the project of the Cavagnari Service Center of the Cassa di Risparmio bank, which was built by Austin Italia. For Barilla he produced the project of the new directional offices (1991-1993) and the new company restaurant hall (1994) in the industrial plant of Pedrignano, characterized by essential and sober lines, transparency and luminosity of perspectives and the use of innovative materials. He died in Milan on September 19, 2006.

Gianni Capelli


MUNARI Cleto – MAGISTRETTI Vico, A tutto tondo (All round). Turin, Arca, 2004.