CS49 sideboard by Vico Magistretti for Poggi, 1970s. Structure in black lacquered wood and top covered with black skai. Equipped with four drawers and four doors with inner shelves. Ludovico Magistretti was born in Milan on 6 October 1920. He attended the Liceo Scientifico Parini and in the autumn of 1939 he enrolled in the Faculty of Architecture of the Royal Polytechnic of Milan. After 8 September 1943, to avoid deportation to Germany, he left Italy during his military service and moved to Switzerland, where he attended some academic courses at the Champ Universitaire Italien in Lausanne, teaching at the local university. During his stay in the Swiss city he meets Ernesto Nathan Rogers, the founder of the BBPR studio who took refuge in Switzerland after the approval of the racist laws in Italy. This was a fundamental encounter for Magistretti's intellectual and professional formation, since the Trieste architect became his teacher. He returned to Milan in 1945, where he graduated in Architecture at the Polytechnic. He therefore immediately began his career collaborating with the architect Paolo Chessa. During the reconstruction operations in Milan from 1949 to 1959, Magistretti designed and built about fourteen projects for INA-Casa in collaboration with other architects. He collaborates with Mario Tedeschi on the joint project for the QT8 district, designing houses for veterans of the African campaign and the church of Santa Maria Nascente. In 1946 he participated in the R.I.M.A. (Italian Assembly for Furniture Exhibitions), at the Palazzo dell'Arte, designing some small, almost self-built pieces of furniture. In the following years he also carried out other important projects, including the Towers in Piazzale Aquileia (1961-64), Casa Bassetti in Azzate (1960-62), Casa Cassina in Carimate (1964-65) and the house in via Conservatorio in Milan ( 1963-66). In 1956 he was one of the founding members of ADI, the Association for Industrial Design, and in the same year he was on the jury for the Compasso d'Oro Award for the first time. His work as an architect has been almost entirely concentrated on the theme of living since the 1960s; he develops his own extremely expressive language which, even if at times heavily critical, imposes itself on the architectural panorama of Lombardy in this period, making him one of its protagonists. From the end of the 60s he began to collaborate with some manufacturing excellences, including Artemide, Cassina and Oluce, designing objects that are still "classics" of modern production. The first product designed by Magistretti dates back to 1960 – the Carimate chair, designed to decorate the golf club he designed in the same year and put into production by Cassina himself – but in the following years he then designed numerous other objects for the same company. Magistretti's teaching career began in the late 1970s at the Royal College of Art in London. In parallel with teaching abroad, he continues to work as an architect in Italy. After his death in September 2006, his studio, where the Fondazione Studio Museo Vico Magistretti is located, was transformed into a museum dedicated to the study of his work and to his promotion.
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