In the town of Varedo, just 10km North of Milan is Villa Borsani. Built by Osvaldo Borsani in 1943 for his twin brother Fulgenzio, the Villa has housed three generations of the Borsani family up until 2008. Since then it has remained empty for almost a decade and was opened to the public for the first time last month ahead of the Triennale di Milano. Curator Ambra Medda, together with Borsani’s architect grandson Tommaso Fantoni brought new life to the villa ahead of the opening.
Adjacent the old Tecno Factory, hidden behind a tall ivy-covered wall, is the 800sqm Brick and Stucco two-storey Villa. It is set amongst 3000 square feet of gardens which include a modest swimming and wisteria covered pergola.
Inside the work of Osvaldo and close friends can be found throughout- hand painted mosaics, intricate door inlays, a ceramic fireplace by Lucio Fontana, and patterned plaster ceilings.
One of the most striking features of all is the staircase made from marble used for ‘Il Duomo’, which is located near the front entrance. The handrail supports are made from solid walnut, and the supports of Murano slats.
Villa Borsani has been perfectly preserved and is a testament to the close partnerships Borsani formed with the greats like Lucio Fontana & Gio Ponti, who would often gather at the Villa to discuss and exchange ideas. Its just one example of Osvaldo's architecture which brings together traditionalism and modernism, two approaches that defined Italian Design in the 20th Century.
Tours of the Villa can be arranged till Sept 2018
In addition to the opening of the Villa, the Borsani retrospective at the Milan Triennale, co-curated by Fantoni & Sir Norman Foster ensures the family’s legacy is preserved.