1931-2018

Italian architect and editor Alessandro Mendini passes away

Alessandro Mendini in his studio (Courtesy Domus)

Italian architect, designer, and two-time editor-in-chief of Domus Alessandro Mendini has passed away at the age of 87.

Mendini was born in Milan in 1931 and was a key figure in the resurgence of Italian design after World War II. Mendini founded Atelier Mendini in 1987 with his brother and collaborator Francesco, and they achieved international acclaim for their work with Swatch, Cartier, and other companies.

Photo of a multicolored Proust armchair in front of a bookshelf

The Proust armchair that Mendini designed for the 1978 Palazzo dei Diamanti instantly became a design classic. (Courtesy Cappellini)

Known as a sculptor, painter, architect, journalist, and designer of furniture, products, and interiors, Mendini was lauded for his playful use of color and sense of proportion. His talent eventually led to collaborations with both domestic Italian designers and large multinational firms, such as Supreme in 2016. Mendini was awarded the European Prize for Architecture in 2014, as well as the 2003 Medaglia d’Oro all’Architettura Italiana and the 2006 Villegiature Award.

Photo of a multicolored museum on the waterfront

The Groninger Museum (Courtesy the Groninger Museum)

Mendini’s interests extended to architecture as well, and as Domus noted in his biography, he “designed the Groninger Museum (1988-1994, 2010) the Alessi factories and the Omegna Museum-Forum (1996), the Teatrino della Bicchieraia in Arezzo (1998), the urban regeneration of the Maghetti district in Lugano (1998), the renovation of the Termini Station in Rome (1999), the restoration of the Villa Comunale (1999) and three stations in the Naples underground network (2000),  as well as the new exhibition space and the new branch of the Milan Triennale in Incheon, South Korea (2008-2009).”

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