Palazzo Mondadori

Place: Segrate (MI), via Arnoldo Mondadori

Author: Oscar Niemeyer

Chronology: 1968 | 1975

Itinerary:  An hard-working country

Use: Headquarter

At the end of the 1960s, the economic boom led Giorgio Mondadori to move the factory headquarters from Verona, where it was founded by his father Arnoldo, to the city of Milan. Thus, in 1968, he commissioned the great Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer to design the new headquarters, immediately imagined as a “Palazzo” with a strong symbolic and identifying role. The water element, in which the building is mirrored and doubled, plays a fundamental role within the general composition. The building seems almost an apparition, simultaneously a monumental and transitory object.

The main body is a parallelepiped closed by a pan de verre; a continuous loggia runs in front of it, characterized by a succession of arches with different pitches, creating a giant order. A paved path leads in a straight line to the loggia.

The main parallelepiped connects two lower blocks that, in aerial view, draw a large leaf emerging from the water basin. The contrast between the neatness of the main building plan and the sinuosity of the annexes is one of this composition’s distinctive features.

Another interesting element is given by the contrast of large visual openings, alternated with strong visual compressions that allow the gaze to move almost only horizontally.

Text by Manuela Raitano
Photo Marco Introini