Glimpse inside Milan’s Palazzo Citterio – fresh from a €23m restoration

Open for three days only

Milan Design Week visitors can get a sneak preview of Palazzo Citterio’s €23m renovation this week, while it hosts a temporary photography show documenting its epic revival.

Visitors can glimpse inside the storied building – which has been subject to renovation works on-and-off since the 1970s – during a special exhibition of images by Maurizio Montagna.

Says Milan’s mayor Beppe Sala: ‘It is a building that is a symbol of the city because it brings together ancient and contemporary.’

Parts of Palazzo Citterio date back to 1764 and it has been expanded and altered throughout the centuries, including fresh additions in the 19th century and partial reconstruction after WWII.

In 1972, the Milan property was bought by the state to expand and modernise the Pinacoteca di Brera public art gallery. This triggered a series of renovation plans that have been started and stalled throughout the decades, owing to political setbacks and funding, including designs by British architect James Stirling.

Photography: Maurizio Montanga

Finally the storied landmark has been brought back to life under the guidance of architect Amerigo Restucci, including rooms designed by Giancarlo Ortelli and Edoardo Sianesi with Franco Russoli in the 1970s, and Stirling’s previously unfinished concrete addition to the palazzo.

Montagna has taken 150 images of the building’s hallowed halls. A selection of his large-format photographs are on display in its ground floor rooms, while some 40 pictures are included in a book documenting the building’s revival, titled Palazzo Citterio: towards the Grande Brera, published via Skira.

Photography: Maurizio Montanga

Says Montagna: ‘The part I loved most about this project is in the underground hall by James Sterling – it’s a superb space.’ Visitors will be able to explore this underground chamber, along with historic reception rooms and a restored courtyard, during the free guided tours from 18 to 20 April.

The building will be handed over to the Grande Brera after Milan Design Week and it is scheduled to open fully in November 2019, when it will host the gallery’s collection of 21st-century artworks.

Palazzo Citterio, Via Brera, 12, 20121 Milan

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