Milan’s bond with architecture has always been alive, but what happened between the 1950s and 1970s is exceptional in Italy. A concentration of unparalleled inventions and experimentation, partly due to the great destruction of the bombs of World War II (which knocked down 40% of the urban fabric) and partly to the fortunate combination of economic, industrial and cultural ferment that has expressed itself in this precise geographical area in recent years: the architecture magazines that flourished, the design companies that invented new universes of signs, the artists who did admirable things and collaborated at Triennials, exhibition halls, and the construction of new luxury and popular condominiums.
Churches are an important piece of this history: less known than Pirellone or other buildings symbolizing this productive era, perhaps also because the religious imagination is more linked to our Renaissance and Baroque monuments, they are instead beautiful, iconic, sometimes even psychedelic spaces.
With Dan Flavin’s intervention on the Church of Santa Maria Annunciata in Chiesa Rossa, the Prada Foundation was the first to highlight the beauty of this heritage, but for years now there has been a proliferation of trips and tours by the Order of Architects, by countless cultural associations and schools, and by that beautiful invention known as Open House.
Translated by @silaskin