Gio Ponti in Città Studi

Gio Ponti in Città Studi
Church of S. Luca Evangelista, Via A. M. Ampère, Città Studi, Milan

The Città Studi neighborhood of Milan, home to my gallery, is filled with modernist buildings. A visit to this part of the city is a trip through the Italian economic boom but also through the destruction of World War II, which caused so much damage in Milan that it created new city space where modern architecture could shine. Walking through the quarter, you can see the biology complex designed for the University of Milan by Vico Magistretti, the Architecture complex designed for the same university by Giordano Forti, Gio Ponti and Piero Portaluppi and the church of San Pio X designed by Giuseppe Chinigher.

The area was already home to an interesting collection of new buildings. Indeed, with the activity of the Politecnico, the neighbourhood was brought to life in the first part of the 20th century, one of the architectural gems from that time being Piero Portaluppi’s Casa Corbellini-Wassermann, now the location of my gallery. Before that, in the 1920s, the engineers Molinari and Danusso and the architect Nicoli built one of the most intriguing buildings of the period, which was immediately nicknamed, with typical Milanese perspicacity, “The Kremlin” for its Soviet style and its pinnacles and domes.

Giuliana Ronzoni Institute called “the Kremlin”, Via G. Colombo 81, Città Studi, Milan

One of the district’s greatest treasures, and far less visited than it ought to be, is the church of San Luca Evangelista, which was designed by Gio Ponti in the second half of the 1950s. A short stair leads to three portals that open onto a grey stone wall, an atypical choice for church architecture. The design was inspired by the archetypical form of the hut, in a return to the origins of religiosity, but also a symbol of simplicity and rigour, as Ponti himself explained: “building a church is a little like rebuilding religion, restoring its essence”. Inside, pillars and beams trace a geometric fabric bathed in the natural light that filters in through glass bricks. The atmosphere is timeless and intense: Gio Ponti’s church is the apex of a walk through the neighbourhood in search of modernist architecture.

Gio Ponti in Città Studi
Church of S. Luca Evangelista, Via A. M. Ampère, Città Studi, Milan

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ItinerariesLombardyMilanReligious architecture