For the first time ever the home of late Italian architect and designer Osvaldo Borsani was opened to the public during Milan Design Week 2018. Now Villa Borsani is available for people to visit the residence of one of Italy’s most important figures in design architecture.
Osvaldo Borsani was an Italian architect, designer, and entrepreneur, creator of the brand Tecno in 1953 along with his twin brother Fulgenzio. Despite having a relevant work he was considered by many as “the great forgotten figure of 20th-century Italian design”.
In 2018, as an initiative from his grandson, architect Tommaso Fontani and Norman Foster, the home of Osvaldo Borsani, Villa Borsani, was opened to the public for the very first time in years.
This residence has remained mostly unchanged since Borsani’s passing in 1985, and unoccupied since the last decade. Inside guests can find many of Tecno’s trademark kinetic furniture alongside other pieces by other artists such as Fausto Melotti and Lucio Fontana which collaborated a lot with Borsani.
The restoration process, named “Villa Borsani: Casa Libera!” was also led by Design Miami co-founder Ambra Medda. Medda made sure to only apply changes where they were necessary, specifically switching some pieces of furniture inside the hose to show how Borsani’s work went from handcrafted “to something very engineered and mass manufactured”, in her own words.
Some of the most relevant decoration details in the house are a marble table by artist Marcello Piccardo, a set of walnut chairs designed by Osvaldo Borsani himself, and also the bathroom with mosaic by Adriano Spilimbergo. More furnishings of the Italian designer can be found in the house, like for example, a vanity table and chair designed all the way back in 1941, as well as the1961 At 16’ coat hanger.