This is without doubt the most famous of five residential buildings made in a few years by Giuseppe Terragni with Pietro Lingeri, and it represents the best example of Rationalist architecture in Milan.
The building, surfaced with salmon-coloured Duralbo plaster with white Lasa marble trim, arises in a highly original way from a trapezium-shaped lot bounded by three roads, one of which is the major avenue of Corso Sempione.
The architects positioned two parallel blocks perpendicular to the main facade on Corso Sempione. The main facade is a kind of giant grille made up of balconies that become suspended walkways from one block to the other, and allow glimpses of the inner court. This invention provoked perplexity at the time, earning the building its nickname, “the blackbird cage”.
The top floor is a double penthouse (“roof villa”) with terraces and a skywalk bridge connecting the two parallel buildings.
Originally publishes in Domus 102 / June 1936
Residential Building in Milan by Lingeri and Terragni
Among the recently erected buildings in Milan, my most sincere and constant allegiance goes out to this one. Readers will easily see the building’s character for themselves, with its distinctive structural details, finishes and plans. What I’d like to point out here is a kind of lyrical beauty. The facade and the view from the courtyard [...] are in no way convoluted. The kind of architectural song that emanates from them is the purest and highest expression of this art. At least I felt this way as I looked. The achievement of this harmony (a rare thing) can be noticed in the dimensions of each detail, beam, pillar and partitioning – all of them exact and elegant throughout. This construction is not just another example of a “style”, but in it, we finally feel a thing in itself, and the presence of true artists. Encouragingly, it can be said that this is not one among many modern constructions that leave us perennially perplexed; it is finally a real piece of work – one to which we give our full support.
Other significant buildings by Pietro Lingeri and Giuseppe Terragni:
Ghiringhelli Building, 1934-1935, Piazzale Lagosta 2
Rustici-Comolli Residential Building, 1934-1935, Via Guglielmo Pepe 32, on the corner of Via Cola Montano 1
Other significant buildings by Pietro Lingeri:
VE-DE-ME Low-cost housing and playground (with A. Magnaghi e M. Terzaghi), 1940-1942, Via Francesco De Sanctis 20, on the corner of Via Privata Liutprando
Società De Angelis Frua Building, 1947-1952, Via Pietro Paleocapa 7
Residential and commercial complex, 1950, Via Melchiorre Gioia 1; Via Carlo De Cristoforis 15
Via Legnano residential and office building (with A. Pini), 1950-1951, Via Giulianova 1 (formerly Via Legnano 18/a)
Condominio della Rosa’ residential building (with Studio Lingeri), 1956-1963, Piazza Buonarroti 32, on the corner of Via Tiziano; Via Michelangelo Buonarroti
INA Casa Vialba Quarter(coordinator with E. Cerutti), Buildings n. 47/47 bis/50/51 (with C. Terragni, E. Terragni and Studio Lingeri), 1957-1960, Via Felice Orsini; Via Otranto, Via Val Lagarina; Via Val Trompia
A.T.M. Infirmary (with Studio Lingeri), 1963-1964, Via Carlo Farini 9