Luigi Moretti: Corso Italia Complex, Milan (1956)

Moretti: Corso Italia (Metcalf photograph)

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.

Photography - Gabriele Basilico

2 thoughts on “Luigi Moretti: Corso Italia Complex, Milan (1956)

  1. Glad you have brought this to attention. I recall searching out this builkding in 1985 when I was last in Milan. It was originally brought to my attention through a wonderful and very dense guide book I still have; “The Book Of Buildings – A Travellers Guide” by Richard Reid, published by Michael Joseph of London, where this work is featured.

  2. Dear Mr. Metcalf, I am writing you with the request to use the above photo of yours in a non-commercial printed publication. Could you possible give me your email / direct contact so I can send you details about the book and my request? Thank you for yor response!

    Evi Scheller (evi.scheller(a)

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