aMDL Michele De Lucchi
The renovation of four central Milan palazzi dating from the late 18th to the early 20th centuries makes available to the public a splendid architectural heritage and major art collection. .
The modern and contemporary art museum, Gallerie d’Italia Piazza Scala, in the center of Milan is an architectural complex made up of four historic palazzi dating from the late 18th to the early 20th centuries. Their renovation and conversion have created an exquisite architectural showcase for the art collections of Banca Intesa San Paolo, making available to the public Italian art treasures of the 19th and 20th centuries ranging from Antonio Canova up to the artistic movements of the second half of the 20th century.
Designed by Michele De Lucchi, the exhibition layout takes into account the different eras and architectures of the buildings making up the complex, relating the art works on show with their surroundings. The program also tackles and solves the issue of the new function to be given to the spaces, along with the need to include the plant and equipment required of a museum environment while respecting the architecture and existing decorative features.
The imposing stucco decorations and frescoes of the 18th century Palazzo Anguissola gently balance architecture and art works, while the 19th century halls of Palazzo Anguissola Antoni Traversa and Palazzo Brentani offer a stage-like backdrop to the works on display, which stand out against the elegant monochrome walls and curtains. In contrast, Palazzo Beltrami, the historic headquarters of the former Banca Commerciale, is a highly picturesque setting for the Novecento works. Starting in the ample porticoed public hall of the former bank, the exhibition winds its way through the back offices in a dynamic yet sober sequence of cool shades, creating a perfect amalgam of architecture and contemporary art. Below grade, the former bank vaults store more works owned by the bank. Visible from the outside, they can also be visited on request.