Fondazione La Triennale di Milano - Biblioteca del Progetto e Archivio Storico
Inaugurated in March 2005, the Biblioteca del Progetto della Triennale di Milano and the Centro di Documentazione (Project Library of the Triennale di Milano and the Documentation Centre) contain the legacy of the Centro Studi Triennale (Triennale Study Centre) and conserve a rich historical and bibliographic heritage the contents of which were enriched with the creation of the Archivio Storico, Fotografico e Audiovisivo (Historic, Photographic and Audio-Video Archive). The library and the historical archives are located in the Palazzo dell’Arte by Giovanni Muzio, in the headquarters of the Fondazione La Triennale di Milano and in the Triennale Design Museum.
The Project Library is composed of a Documentation Centre, with historical materials from the Triennale Study Centre that include the collection of Italian and foreign periodicals, such as “Domus” and “La Casabella”, dating from the Twenties, and the collection of official Triennale catalogues; the Historic Archive, which conserves the documents produced by the Triennale or purchased from external entities since 1923 and divided into documents, correspondence, drawings and blueprints, graphic artworks and posters, project studies and sketches, furnishings; the Photographic Archive, which includes a total of about 30,000 silvered photographic prints, slides, glass plates and images documenting the exhibitions and events that took place over a period of 90 years of cultural and institutional activities; the Audio-Video Archive, which conserves about 1,000 films on celluloid, VCR tapes, U-Matic and Betacam dating from the Twenties, and about 500 audio recordings of the main events promoted and hosted by the Triennale.
The Library contains about 17,000 volumes and important collections of literary works on architecture, design, the visual arts, town planning, the Tomàs Maldonado collection, the Architectura & Natura donation, the Acquati-Garavaglia collection, the Augusto Morello collection, the founding nucleus of the library, in addition to collections of historical periodicals such as Abitare and Casa Vogue.
Moreover, the Project Library hosts the collections of drawings by Alessandro Mendini from 1960 to 2012, the Archivio Paola Lanzani and Piercarla Toscano Racchelli Lanzani architecture and design collection from 1960 to 2010, and the Archivio Giuliana Gramigna about the history of the principal design companies and designers through product catalogues, photographs and press cuttings.
The selection presented here includes 32 photographs prints and 3 letters that document the relationship between la Rinascente, Triennale di Milano and Biennale di Monza from 1927 to 1960. The photographic material comprises 9 photographs showing the display of the Domus Nova line at the Biennale di Monza in 1927; 18 photographs of furniture designed by Franco Albini and Ezio Sgrelli and made by la Rinascente and Upim, which were exhibited in 1951 at the IX Triennale; a photograph of the staging designed by architects Gian Carlo Ortelli and Carlo Pagani in 1954 for the exhibition of products that won the first Compasso d'Oro contest at the X Triennale; 4 photographs of the scale model of Albini’s project for building the la Rinascente department store in Rome, which was displayed in the section dedicated to the architect at the XII Triennale in 1960.
Lastly, the documents selected include a drawing by Alessandro Mendini, from the collection of the same name, showing the project for la Rinascente window, dated 2007.