Vittoriano Viganò was born in Milan in 1919. His training took place between the Classical Studies and the Faculty of Architecture at the Politecnico in Milan, where he graduated in 1944. After obtaining the qualification to practice the profession, he carries out a short period of apprenticeship at the BBPR studio and subsequently opens his own professional studio.Contextually he began his work at the University, first as a voluntary assistant, then as a free lecturer and, in the second half of the 1960s, as a tenured professor of Interior Architecture, a discipline whose chair was then held by Gio Ponti (often referred to as one of his teachers, together with Giuseppe Terragni) and subsequently by Carlo De Carli; finally in 1979, he moved on to teaching Architectural Composition. Over the years he has developed research on the primary types of residence and services, museum and theater, and on the relationship between space and object, grafting them on the themes of the residence / services relationship, the “architectural potentials” of the infrastructural nodes, and the “space faculties” of the vertical.Great importance also had the cultural environment in which Viganò is formed, the family one above all: through his father Vico, painter and engraver, Vittoriano comes into contact with the artistic environment not only Milanese, an experience that will allow him later to experiment the intertwining of the arts, as for instance the activity with Institutions, first of all the Triennale, the architectural project, and the collaborations with the companies of the Lombard production system (Arteluce, just to cite an example). In 1950s Gino Sarfatti entrusted the artistic direction of Arteluce to Viganò who marked that period and the future of the firm with his own style. Products of that period were the iconic ceiling lights with large articulated arms, with cones of various functions, like light mobiles (ndr.)Viganò also played a leading role on the international scene, especially as a correspondent from Italy, from 1947 to 1963, of two important French magazines, both founded by André Bloc, L’Architecture d’Aujourd’hui before and later (1955) also by Aujourd’hui. Art et Architecture.After his debut works (Condominium in viale Piave, 1945 with Carlo Pagani and Cinema dal Verme, 1947/48 with Mario Cavallè in Milan, and above all the sports and leisure center in Salsomaggiore, 1948/50), the first collaborations with the Triennale (Mostra del verde, Casette for veterans and Project for the youth hotel at Qt8, all for the VIII Triennale), the numerous reconfiguration of living spaces (Sarfatti house – 1951, but also the architect’s office – 1947), the 1950s are a particularly fruitful and perfecting moment for mature language. In a few years an impressive series of extraordinary works were made, in the field of the isolated residence (Casa Bloc in Portese del Garda, 1953-58) or in the apartment (Condominium in via Gran San Bernardo, 1957-60 and Apartment in Milan, 1956- 58) or in that, radically rethought, of places for the exhibition and trade of works of art (Galleria del Fiore, 1953-54 and Galleria Apollinaire, 1954-55 in Milan); in the context of collective services (Istituto Marchiondi, 1953-58, later taken up with the new headquarters of the Faculty of Architecture, 1965-85) and in that of commercial establishments (Tom Boy shop, 1959-60 and Arteluce shop, 1961- 62).In those years also began a reflection on the places of industrial production (Cartiere Sterzi in Varese, 1956-58), subsequently developed with the Colorificio Attiva (Novi Ligure, 1965-70) and the Mollificio bresciano (San Felice del Benaco, 1967-82).His interest in the urban space was constant and uninterrupted, the case of the Sempione park in Milan is emblematic, a lifelong commitment, significant plans for Rimini (redevelopment of the old riverbed of the Marecchia torrent, 1969-82) and for Salò (the lakefront and the various projects for the historic center, 1983-96).
Vittoriano Viganò died in Milan in 1996.
Excerpt from the text by Roberto Rizzi published on www.ordinearchitetti.mi.it
Courtesy of Ordine e Fondazione degli Architetti, Pianificatori, Paesaggisti e Conservatori della Provincia di Milano