Franco Albini is born in 1905 in Robbiate (Lecco). In 1916 he moves to Milan where he gets his degree in Architecture at the Politecnico (1929) and begins working in the firm Ponti and Lancia. In 1931 he opens his own private practice with Camus and Palanti working on council housing: neighbourhoods “Fabio Filzi” (1936-38), “Gabriele D’Annunzio” (1938-1940) and “Ettore Ponti” (1939).
In the years before and during the war he continues his research on urban projects and housing solutions: from “Milano Verde” to villa Pestarini (1938).
Albini begins working on outfitting exhibitions for the V Triennale in 1933 with the House with a steel frame created with Pagano and others. At the following Triennale in 1936 he designs the Room for a man and, with Romano, the Exhibition of antique Italian jewerly, archetype of new exposition solutions.
In 1945 he is president of the Movement of Studies for Architecture and is director, with Palanti, of “Costruzioni Casabella”. He begins collaborating with Franca Helg in 1952. In those years the studio creates important projects among which the Ina office building in Parma (1950-54) and the shopping center La Rinascente in Rome (1957-61).
In Genoa they work on projects of city planning, buildings and museums: from the municipal offices to the renovation of the Municipal Galleries of the Museo del Tesoro di San Lorenzo (1952-56). In the sixties together with the graphic designer Noorda they plan the Metropolitana Milanese (subway stations).
The studio Albini-Helg collaborates first with Antonio Piva and then with Marco Albini. Franco Albini for almost thirty years is also University professor in Venice, Turin and Milan.
He designs some icons of Italian Design among which the Veliero bookshelf, the Luisa chair, the Fiorenza armchair.
His attention to objects, to projects, to methods of execution, and to tools is in no way speculative or abstract, but was rather the attention of a craftsman who showed a broad interest in the everyday problems his work continually posed. He dies in 1977 in Milan.
Courtesy Fondazione Franco Albini