1930’s-1940’s Years

Milan in the 1930’s was largely defined by the planning regulations of 1934, which determined the building of entire new districts of expansion together with large-scale demolitions and rebuilding in the centre. Most of the new buildings were planned by architects of the Novecento movement – among them Muzio, Ponti and Lancia – in compact and concise forms of classical inspiration. In public and other important buildings this style was often combined with the classical Roman monumentalism of Piacentini. In contrast the young Rationalists – Lingeri, Terragni, Albini, Figini and Pollini, Bottoni, the BBPR partnership and others – were engaged in a cultural battle to apply the language of the European Modernist movement and expressed their social objectives in the new public housing districts. There were also those who weren’t following the script, such as de Finetti, antifascist and designer devising alternatives to the official line, and Portaluppi, who casually mixed diverse stylistic repertories. With the beginning of the war building was halted, and the town centre was heavily bombed which in turn necessitated a huge rebuilding programme.