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Figini and Pollini

Luigi Figini (b. 27 January 1903, Milan; d. 1984, Milan) and Gino Pollini (b. 13 January 1903, Rovereto; d. 1991, Milan) were founding members of Gruppo 7, which initiated ‘rationalist’ architecture in Italy in 1927. After the war they continued their collaboration with Adriano Olivetti, for whom they designed a whole sequence of works at Ivrea, including the Olivetti factory in various stages, 1934-57. A summation of their earlier elegance is found in the Apartment and Office Building in the Via Broletto, Milan (19478), but their works subsequently became more textured in surface and complex in geometry. Of these, probably the most significant was the Church of the Madonna of the Poor (1952-4) on the outskirts of Milan. A translation of early Christian basilical form into industrialized materials, tough, introverted yet deeply penetrated by light filtered through blocks of randomly laid stone, its gritty ‘unfinished’ state is characteristic of the postwar climate.