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Design stars

GAE AULENTI – The lady of Made in Italy architecture and design


“Architecture is a men’s profession, but I always pretended I didn’t notice that”.

A very emblematic sentence from the architect and designer Gae Aulenti, passed away the 1st of november 2012 in her Milan house at the age of 84. These few words enclose her irony, her great humanity and her well known shyness.

Pioneer of a new designing concept, Gae Aulenti influenced design’s modern history with a style capable of seducing the whole world. Born in the province of Udine, northern Italy, on the 4th of december 1927 in a southern family, Gae Aulenti attended Florence artistic lyceum, but then she came back in the northern Italy where she studied with private tutors. “In that period I was making little favors to Partisan resistance – she told during an interview with the journal Il Corriere – they trusted me, and sometimes I helped with english missions pretending to go to the fields for making love. In Biella I was friends with two jewish sisters that disappeared all of a sudden. My civil conscience was born there.” In 1948 she started attending the Politecnico in Milan, which became her city, and there she began to look carefully at the international rationalism, to artists like Gropius, Le Corbusier and Lloyd Wright.
Thanks to her equal in age Vittorio Gregotti, Gae Aulenti started working in the editorial staff of Casabella magazine of the great maestro Ernesto Nathan Rogers, temple of the italian style and launch pad for architects and designers. From Rogers she learned that interior design and city planning are opposite poles in a modern architect’s activity.

Among her most important projects:
• the transformation of the former Paris railway station Gare d’Orsay into the museum that hosts the largest collection of impressionist masterpieces in the world;
• the project of Musée d’art moderne at Centre Pompidou;
• the restoration of Quirinale horse stables in Rome;
• the renovation of Palazzo Grassi in Venice;
• Olivetti showrooms all around the world, from Paris to Buenos Aires;
• the design of Cadorna square in Milan;
• the Catalan Museum of Art in Barcelona;
• the Museum of Contemporary Art in Istanbul.

Gae Aulenti was also very active in the field of objects design. Among her most famous works: the rocking chair Sgarsul, assembled with two crossed ellipses made of bended wood, the Locus Solus furniture series dated 1964 in metallic tubes, the Pipistrello, Ruspa, Rimorchiatore and Parola (the latter designed together with Piero Castiglioni) lamps, the tables made with a cristal shelf with weels and the Venini vases.

A selection of these stunning objects is now available in DomuS3D® database to make your projects as beautiful and precious as ever.
Look for them in the section DOWNLOAD under the tag “Maticad generic objects” in order to download them in your pc.

Then you only have to type Gae Aulenti in the research field in the FURNISHING section.

1 - Sgarsul rocking chair

2 - Martinelli Pipistrello

3 - Knoll Jumbo table

4 - Locus Solus

5 - Artemide Pileo Lamp

6 - Table with wheels

7 - Armchair Tennis for Knoll

8 - Ruspa lamp

9 - Trabo toaster

10 - Giova lamp