Franco Albini: Poetic Precision
Born in the Italian countryside of Brianza to a well-to-do bourgeois family, Franco Albini (1905-1977) was inspired by his fond memories of the landscape and the precise beauty of tradition. After attending architecture school in Milan, he served his apprenticeship with Milanese Architects Gio Ponti and Emilio Lancia where he had direct contact with artisan cabinet-makers and talented craftsmen. In 1930 he opened his own practice. Utilizing the knowledge he gained from working with talented craftsmen – he created his own unique aesthetic, elegant design merged with traditional Italian artisanship and the new conceptual movement of modernism. In 1928 Albini created the iconic Albini Desk, which combined steel, glass and wood in a minimalist combination of balanced proportions. He continued to design some of the most famous and fashionable furniture pieces for companies such as Cassina, Arflex, Arteluce and Poggi and in 1964 he created a television set for Brionvega. Albini also worked as an architect and interior designer on important buildings in Rome and subway stations in Milan.
Albini’s Fiorenza Chair, c.1952 was designed for Arflex. This lounge chair in leather with a wood frame embodies his ability to combine traditional elegance with modernist minimalism and clarity of form.
These rattan ottomans / poufs combine Albini’s rationality of form with the beauty of raw simple material c.1951.
The iconic Franco Albini Desk designed for Knoll, celebrates clean minimalist form with purity of material in steel, glass and white oak c.1928.
Albini’s Luisa Armchair took almost fifteen years to develop to meet all of the designers specifications. The purity of the composition is highlighted by an increased thickness at the joints and by flush-fitting and aligning expressing a new language, in mahogany and leather c.1955.
The Franco Albini PS16 Chaise is a rare visual treat, created in 1945 for Poggi, the highly sought after piece is constructed from an elm wood frame and stretched canvas seat. There was a later model produced in the mid 50’s with a slightly altered construction.