Milano Design Week

Salone del Mobile and Fuorisalone 2024

Alcova in Varedo. Milano Design Week 2024, what to see

Discover the most important places of the Milan Design Week 2024 in our photo galleries.

Villa Borsani - Via Umberto I, 148 - Varedo
Villa Bagatti Valsecchi - Via Vittorio Emanuele II, 48 - Varedo
15-21 Aprile, from 11am to 7pm 

Originally launched in a former panettone factory, Cova, which served as its namesake, Alcova has emerged as one of the most anticipated events of Milan Design Week over the past decade. It has become a must-see for Fuorisalone attendees, thanks in part to its stunning and often unconventional venues, such as a former military hospital or the sprawling former slaughterhouse of the Lombardy capital.

This year marks a pivotal moment, as Grima and Ciuffi’s counter-Salone takes Fuorisalone out of Milan and into Brianza – the true heart of the Italian furniture industry. In addition, Alcova extends its reach by hosting events in two different yet close locations, symbolically separated by a railroad track and a level crossing.

The first villa, the largest and the oldest, was built in the nineteenth century by the Varedo branch of the noble Bagatti Valsecchi family of Milan. It is located in a large garden that also houses a fragment of the remains of the Lazzaretto of Milan, built during the great plague famously described by Manzoni in The Betrothed. Here, the exhibition design, with some large installations and forays into fashion, such as the Moleskine exhibition, creates a striking contrast with the ancient walls and weathered statues of the building. A visit to the underground tunnel, lit by sinuous neon lights, and the icebox is an experience not to be missed.

The second venue offers a more cohesive and immersive experience: the magnificent villa that Osvaldo Borsani designed for himself and his family in the 1940s. Borsani, an architect, designer and entrepreneur, became famous for winning the silver medal at the V Triennale for his Minimal House project and, above all, for co-founding Tecno. A devotee of the avant-garde and a disciple of Milan’s modernist luminaries, he designed not only the villa but also its furnishings, collaborating with the burgeoning art world of the time, including Lucio Fontana, who created the fireplace mantel.

An unmissable installation curated by Objects of Common Interest awaits in the villa’s evocative basement. Fuorisalone’s expansion into these two venues offers a rare opportunity to immerse oneself in the fusion of history, art and design that defines Brianza as the beating heart of the Italian furniture industry.

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