A century since Vittoriano Viganò’s birth

Politecnico di Milano pays tribute to the great Milanese architect, student and professor at our university


In a few days, it will be the centenary of Vittoriano Viganò’s birth, which happened in Milan on 14 December 1919. The great Milanese architect’s life was intimately connected to that of Politecnico di Milano.

Graduated in 1944 at our School of Architecture, his development took place within the Italian – and particularly Lombard – Modern Movement and the post-war Milanese “reconstruction” drawing form the theme of “continuity” with both the European architectural culture and that proper to the “city of production”.

His professional activity developed from the start along two lines of interests: research and teaching – acting as assistant and lecturer – and experimentation.

In 1979, he won the Faculty Competition for teaching Interior Architecture. Simultaneously he won the competition for Architectural Composition.

As a tenured professor of Interior Architecture and Design of the School of Architecture of Politecnico di Milano, he investigated primary design typologies, i.e. residential, museum design, theatre design, issues of distribution and access, culture.

As a tenured professor of Architectural Composition, he undertook analytical and propositional studies – both as research and teaching – starting from the context of the city.

Within the field of the residential/service relationship in Milan, he investigated the problem of the Ticinese, Porta Genova, Sempione, Garibaldi, Lambrate districts. He developed new functional and spatial models of "architectural potentials of urban infrastructure nodes":  Gobba, Romolo, Rogoredo, Vittoria, Bovisa, Garibaldi, Lambrate.

The national and international critique followed his production, isolating its authentic traits and its contributions to the architectural debate.

His presence was constant in the debate on the city and on architecture, with contributions deriving from conferences, panel discussions, seminars, reports, essays, newspaper interviews, without mentioning his participation as a judge in countless juries on national and international competitions of architecture and urban design. He participated to all the Triennali from the post-war to the 1970’s.

In 1986, he designed the famous expansion of the Faculty of Architecture of Politecnico di Milano in an openly high-tech style. Since 1988, he has been Faculty dean.

To celebrate this centenary "A come Architettura Vittoriano Viganò" (A as Architecture Vittoriano Viganò), an iconic exhibition organised by the former Faculty of Architecture and the Department of Architectural planning, in May 1991, has been re-imagined by the Politecnico di Milano’s School of Architecture Urban Planning Construction Engineering and School of Design, in partnership with Archivio Vittoriano Viganò Milano (AVVM), and is curated by their daughters Vanessa and Viviana Viganò. The exhibition is curated by Giampiero Bosoni and Andrea Gritti.

 “VV 100. A come Architettura: una retrospettiva” (VV 100. A as Architecture: a retrospective) will end on Monday 16 December 2019 in the Aula Magna of Politecnico di Milano, where Professor Paolo Portoghesi will hold a Lectio Magistralis dedicated to the work of his friend and colleague, the Milanese master.

During 2020 the cycle of events will continue to pay homage to the work of an authentic master of 20th century architecture and design - first as a student and then as a professor at our University.