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Designer name: Baldessari, Luciano
  1896 - 1982
Luciano Baldessari was born in Rovereto, 10 Dec 1896 and died in Milan, 26 Sept 1982). Italian architect, stage designer and painter. After studying at the Scuola Reale Elisabettiana, an applied arts school in Rovereto, he joined the Futurist movement, headed locally by Fortunato Depero. After serving in World War I, he enrolled at the Scuola Superiore di Architettura del Politecnico, Milan, graduating in architecture in 1922. He then spent four years (1922–6) in Berlin working as a stage designer and frequenting the avant-garde milieu around Max Reinhardt, Erwin Piscator and Oskar Kokoschka. He returned to Italy in 1926 and set up his own practice. His first important commission, the remodelling of the Bar Craja (1930; with Figini and Pollini) in Milan, with its handsome glass and steel interior, established Baldessari’s reputation as an innovative designer. He collaborated again with Figini and Pollini on the De Angeli-Frua office building (1931–2) in Milan, a fine example of Italian Rationalism at its most restrained. Baldessari’s architectural masterpiece of this period was, however, the Press Pavilion (1933) at the 5th Triennale in Milan. In 1937 he entered the competition for the Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana (for illustration see RATIONALISM (ii)). At the outbreak of World War II he moved to New York and from 1939 to 1948 worked intermittently as a painter, stage designer and interior decorator; his circle of acquaintances included Mies van der Rohe, Josep Lluis Sert, Fernand Léger, Amédée Ozenfant and Alexander Calder.


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