Franco Albini (1905-77), the Italian rationalist architect was one of Italy’s most talented members of the avant-garde. His work was always elegant, fresh, minimalist, and very ‘Italian,’ both during the interwar and postwar years. While Albini is mostly known today for his iconic Albini Desk, which he designed in 1929 of combining steel, glass, and wood, popularized in the 50s by Knoll, and for his famed cane chairs, his architecture and interior design projects were equally important (including the Rome Rinascente building, and the Milan subway stations). One of his truly spectacular building was the INA (Istituto Nazionale delle Assicurazioni), an office building in Parma, with its famed grand staircase, and wall lights, constructed between 1950 and 1954.
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