Almost 55 years have passed since this house was finished and now, in December 2021, the central nucleus of Casa Lana is on display. It’s a wooden structure with sofas arranged in such a way as to create a cosy living area in which to chat and listen to music, while the surrounding space is arranged to cater for various activities and functions. The spaces are optimised because, by doing away with corridors, as Ettore Sottsass said, “a little piazza is created in which one can move around and get together” (Sottsass Jr., 1967). It was Barbara Radice Sottsass’s decision, supported by the client’s daughter, to donate the house to the Triennale di Milano, which moved it carefully and set it up permanently on the first floor of the Palazzo dell’Arte
The press conference was a very moving occasion. Marco Sammicheli, Director of the Italian Design Museum at Triennale Milano, quoted from Franz Kafka’s Dreams, sitting next to Barbara Radice, who thanked Ettore Sottsass himself, reading out an excerpt from his last book Di Chi Sono le Case Vuote? (Whose are the Empty Houses?) recently published by Adelphi. With them on the stage were Stefano Boeri, President of Triennale Milano, Carla Morogallo, Director of Operations at Triennale Milano, and Tommaso Sacchi, Councillor for Culture of the City of Milan.
Exhibitions and events have been planned around the permanent Casa Lana installation, which will highlight various different aspects of the work and thinking of the master. Alongside the exhibitions, a series of dedicated donations will become the nucleus of an important corpus of works by the architect Ettore Sottsass Jr. as part of the Triennale Milano’s permanent collection. The installation of the room and its philological reconstruction were the subject of in-depth study by the archive and the conservation department at Triennale Milano, and involved Luca Cipelletti, who curated the installation in the central space on the first floor of Triennale, and Christoph Radl, who took care of the art direction of the project, amongst others.