Osvaldo Borsani

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 Archivio Osvaldo Borsani 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 and is just Villa Borsani is just one example of Osvaldo’s architecture which brings together traditionalism and modernism, two approaches that defined Italian Design in the 20th Century.
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 the_____crisscross staircase made from marble used for ‘Il Duomo’, with a solid walnut handrail and supports of Murano slats. The details were endless.
In readiness for public access the extensive Borsani archives were moved to the villas garden house, and includes thousands of documentary materials- photos, sketches, blueprints and correspondence.
Tours of the Villa can be arranged till Sept 2018
Borsani's rise to fame began at the V Triennale di Milano in 1933, with his successful presentation of the rationalist Casa Minima who was still at the time, a student at the Milan Polytechnic. After graduating in 1937, Borsani started worth with his father Gaetano Borsani, in his workshop, Atelier Varedo. His father was a highly respected cratsfmen and strived for perfection. It was whilst working with his father that Osvaldo learned that quality was everything.
 
In 1953, with his twin brother Fulgenzio, he co-founded a manufacturing company, called Tecno which focused on engineering and innovative design solutions- A project that he would work on all his life. Embracing rationalist principles and avant-garde art, Osvaldo led the company into now what are highly publicised collaborations, with a number of contemporary artists including: Lucio Fontana, Adriano di Spilimbergo, Fausto Melotti, Aligi Sassu and Arnaldo Pomodoro.
 
Some of the company’s earliest designs remain amongst their most successful and iconic; The wall-mounted shelving system (1946), the D70 sofa that folds open into a divan bed (1954), and the P40 adjustable lounge chair (1955), variants of both of which remain in production today. To begin with, Techno only produced Osvaldo’s designs, though in time, it would go on to produce the work of other designers including Vico Magistretti, Roberto Mango, Carlo de Carli, Gio Ponti, Mario Bellini, Robin Day and Eugenio Gerli. Early pieces by Tecno can be found in the permanent collections of the MoMA, New York, the V&A, London, the Pompidou Centre, Paris.