the architecture

The Fondazione’s exhibition space and new headquarters is located in San Lazzaro di Savena, a few kilometers from Bologna. It is a building with a strong symbolic connotation in the context of twentieth-century Italian architecture and design, as it was envisioned by Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni in 1960 for Dino Gavina.
The building reflects an interest in the farms and barns that remains a key feature, to this day, of Emilia’s rural architecture and landscape. Various elements—such as the cotto tile pavement, the walkways abutting the lower floors, the balustrade of the mezzanine formed by tubular iron supported by adjustable chains—grant the overall environment a minimalist look, articulated across multiple floor that communicate through visible staircases.


The space has become a crossroads of encounters that have marked the history of twentieth century design culture. Some of the biggest names in twentieth century culture have been here: designers and artists such as Carlo Scarpa, Marcel Breuer, Man Ray and Marcel Duchamp transformed this space in a creative lab that the Fondazione Massimo e Sonia Cirulli, today, reopens to the public.