As the design world descends upon Milan this week for the annual Salone del Mobile furniture fair, a new book celebrating the city’s most transporting private entrance halls offers glimpses into 144 heretofore inaccessible portals.
Edited by Karl Kolbitz, Entryways of Milan presents alluring examples of Italian modernism through photographs by Delfino Sisto Legnani, Paola Pansini, and Matthew Billings that are accompanied by musings from architects, educators, historians, and other specialists.
The collection spans buildings from 1920 to 1970, spotlighting work from some of the city’s most distinguished architects and designers like Luigi Caccia Dominioni, Piero Portaluppi, Giovanni Muzio, and Gio Ponti, as well as from little known masters.
Sumptuous materials are on full display in these ingresses. Limestone, Carrara and Calacatta marble, granite, travertine, enamel, glass, wood, metal, and concrete mingle with one another to enhance, complement, or even disturb these liminal spaces that function to protect as well as invite.
Looking at these thresholds today, one wonders how Milan had ever come to be known as an “ugly city,” a designation bestowed by Novecento architect Giovanni Muzio in a 1921 essay. Entryways of Milan will be out in May from Taschen.