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Ideas of Ambiente History and Bourgeois Ethics in the Construction of Modern Milan, 1881-1969 in black and grey font on pale blue cover.

Ideas of Ambiente

History and Bourgeois Ethics in the Construction of Modern Milan, 1881-1969

By (author) Angelo Raffaele Lunati
Introduction by Adam Caruso


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  • An investigation of Milan's architectural history and building culture between the 1880s and 1960s and how it was shaped by a particular Milanese urban social class
  • Highlights Milan's constant modernisation over eight decades, marked by deep social, political, and economical changes
  • Investigates the far-reaching influence of the city's affluent and entrepreneurial classes on its architectural history and culture
Full Description

During the second half of the 19th and much of the 20th centuries, Milan underwent a constant modernisation to become a true metropolis and Italy’s economic centre of gravity. In particular between the 1880s and 1960s, the city’s upper classes were the main drivers of this development. Their common interests rooted in keen entrepreneurship, a sense of history and of their own origins, and a high appreciation of culture and of ethical values combined with profound suspiciousness of ideologies.

Angelo Raffaele Lunati investigates in his new book the relationship between this particular Milanese type of urban social class and culture and the architecture it forged. It is an homage to a metropolitan bourgeoisie standing out by its sense of responsibility and common welfare. Lunati follows the evolution of the idea of an ‘ambiente’, a very comprehensive concept of urban environment, from 19th-century’s initial romanticism to the early 20th century’s bold modernism and the elegant yet politically charged aesthetic of the post-WW II period.

About the Author
Angelo Raffaele Lunati is a founding partner with Milan-based architecture firm Onsitestudio and a professor of architecture and design at Politecnico di Milano.
Park Books
12th Oct 2020
Paperback / softback
World excluding Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Puerto Rico, United States, Canada, and Japan
215 mm x 165 mm
312 Pages
41 color, 91 b&w
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