A reference from the Italian Mid-Century, a founding member of the Tecno group and iconic furniture designs, discover the world of Osvaldo Borsani
Amongst the greatest Italian designers of the 20th Century, Osvaldo Borsani (1911–1985) created some of today’s most iconic furniture pieces such as the P40 adjustable armchair and the D70 seat sofa. Borsani began in his father’s business, the ABV Atelier Borsani Varedo, and opened in 1953 with his twin borther Fulgenzio, Tecno, an office furniture company which became a leading Italian design brand, symbol of the country’s industrial design.
For this year’s Salone del Mobile in Milan, the designer’s daughter and grandson in collaboration with curator Ambra Medda, exceptionally reopened the doors of the Borsani Villa in Varedo to the general public, for a few days only. This opening precedes a major retrospective curated by Norman Foster to be held in mid-May at the Triennale di Milano.
A creative pioneer and innovator, Borsani designed the family Villa in 1940 shortly after graduating from Politecnico as an Architect. Home today of the Borsano Archive, the Villa perfectly summarizes his design vision : combining rationalist architecture with a strong attention to detail. Mixing artisanal work with innovative technology, the Villa is the best exemple of his thrive to achieve the perfect balance between practicality and aesthetics.
Beautiful volumes, fitted furniture, immaculate space layout, every detail was meticulously planned. Borsani also perfectly mastered the mix of materials – marquetry, marble, ceramics, the vibe is very masculine, synonym of sophisticated modern living and great taste. The textiles include leather, woolen fabrics, graphic sheers, and sometimes a pop of colour and pattern on some pieces of furniture. Artworks can also be found such as Agenore Fabbri’s sculpture placed at the bottom of the staircase, and Lucio Fontana decorative fireplace.
Decades latter, the Villa Borsani is landmark for inspiration to design lovers, proof that his avant-guarde work participated in shaping the Italian Mid Century iconic style.