Believe it or not, Luigi Moretti (1907-1973) the architect who authored this amazing building, is the very same who designed the infamous Watergate complex in Washington DC. The peripatetic Moretti also worked on EUR project near Rome (once known as E42), originally intended to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Fascism’s rise to power in Italy in 1942. This apparently earned him a period of post war re-education. But he quickly recovered and the post war period of reconstruction was perhaps his most prolific.
The spectacular slab block pushing its way into the street is one of several making up this City of Milan project containing shops, offices and 40 apartments on an awkwardly shaped location that may have been a World War II bomb site. It is the very plasticity of form, sculpted and manipulated with those twisting balcony access galleries in an otherwise windowless façade that impress. Clearly Moretti was one of the more exuberant form makers of his period by a considerable margin.
Gabreile Basilico, the Milanese master photographer of architecture and urbanism has also been attracted to Moretti’s work. This picture of Milan’s Hotel Ibis is from a series he captured on Milan’s architectural heritage of the last century.