Last 31 October, Italian architect and designer Gae Aulenti passed away. Aulenti was an incredible influence in the Italian and international architecture and design scene of the postwar years, all the way through our days. Amongst her many awards and distinctions, Aulenti had been recently awarded the Italian Gold Medal for her career, awarded at the Trienalle di Milano last 16 October.
From the many times her work graced the pages of Domus, we've chosen to republish two projects Aulenti designed for Olivetti in the 1960s. Beyond the virtuous association of the names Aulenti-Olivetti, the pieces republished today are especially enriched by a vivid photographic survey, where the interiors in Paris and Buenos Aires reveal a smiling, charming Gae Aulenti, exactly how we wish to remember her.
The article "The new Olivetti show-room in Paris" was originally published in Domus 452 / July 1967
The article "The new Olivetti shop in Buenos Aires" was originally published in Domus 466 / September 1968
An environment that immediately places the Olivetti machines, small exact precision instruments, within the context of the magical adventure, begun thousands of years ago, that the world is living through today. "The design of the show-room" architect Gae Aulenti says, "was born from the idea of making a "piazza"; the steps, the various levels, and the continuity of space are the architectonic components of the "piazza".
Designed by Gae Aulenti (as the 1967 Olivetti shop in Paris, see Domus 452) this new Olivetti shop has just been opened in Buenos Aires. The shop "explodes" at the corner of two streets in the centre of the city. This is the immediate effect of its perspective display "flights of stairs" — which radiate fanwise from the interior corner of the space and are multiplied kaleidoscopically by the mirrors on the walls and ceiling. The visual attraction is very strong. This is an image that draws into its own center.