Devised as an allegorical space for the daily activities of the modern man (embodied by the modern materials of glass, linoleum, tubular steel and foam rubber), 1936 “Room for a Man” was one of architect Franco Albini’s earliest commissions and occupied a sector of the VI Milan Triennale.
All the essential facilities were accessible in a compact space of less than 30 sqm by a man that was more concerned with the speed and the convenience of modern life than with domestic ease. Thematically split into two areas, “body” and “mind“, the room provides places to work, relax, sleep and shower.
The module of the white linoleum squares on the floor regulates the order of every single furnishing element within the domestic space: the closet (containing room for every item of clothes, underwear, shoes and shirts), the transparent shower box, the gneiss wall, the crystal library sided with lacquered wood, the nickel-plated sliding doors and the suspended bed with its ladder whose rungs are embedded in rubber.
Albini remained dedicated to research, once devoting fifteen years to developing different versions of an armchair and eventually extending his experiments with technocratic materials into rustic ones, like rattan. So committed was Albini that he continued his investigations throughout World War II, when he left Milan for the smaller city of Piacenza. Bereft of commercial commissions, he sealed himself off in a small studio to reinvent the type of multifunctional furniture he had unveiled to such acclaim in “A Room for a Man,” this time using scraps of metal, wood, and whatever else he could find in war-torn Italy.
(A different version of this text already appeared on the online magazine “ofHouses” curated by Daniel Tudor Munteanu)
PROJECT DRAWINGS AND MODELS:
ofHouses set of photographs on the Room for a Man
Modello di Stanza per un uomo
Ilaria Lambri’s drawing reconstructions on Wikipedia
Our collection of posts related to the theme of “Housing the isolated individual“