The contemporary value of heritage

Bonacina announces the opening of the new Spazio Museo Galleria Giardino in the historic headquarters at Lurago d’Erba, Como

Spazio Museo Galleria Giardino Bonacina – Photo © Filippo Ferrarese
Spazio Museo Galleria Giardino Bonacina – Photo © Filippo Ferrarese

A historic brand of design furnishings ‘handmade in Italy’ founded in 1889, Bonacina has its headquarters at Lurago d’Erba, in the province of Como. There, in a building from the 1960s designed by Lorenzo Forges Davanzati, commissioned by Vittorio Bonacina, the second generation of the family, the company has announced the opening of the innovative new Spazio Museo Galleria Giardino.

Refurbished for sustainability with new heat pump and lighting systems, the facility is a bit museum, a bit showroom, reflecting the philosophy of a brand that has always had strong ties with its history

The building is a work of rational architecture with large windows that bring natural light into the interiors, where the Museum has an area of 600 square meters, while the Gallery occupies 1000 square meters, offering display space for the latest collections.

The windows of the Museum, thanks to four installations created by the design firm unPizzo, explore the concept of weaving, recreating patterns and decorations that are the stylistic signature of Bonacina products across the decades, while using alternative materials.

The Museum contains one century of prototypes and designs from the Bonacina historical archives, the memory of the brand, conserving types of workmanship that can still be utilized today as a starting point for new projects and collaborations: studies for products, like the Margherita and Gala chairs by Franco Albini from 1951, are on view together with original products by designers like Joe Colombo, Raffaella Crespi, Gianfranco Frattini, Ico Parisi and Gio Ponti. 

In the spaces of the Gallery and the Garden, open by appointment, visitors discover the strong bond between past, present and future creations. The three collections Decor, Grandi Maestri and Contemporanei are displayed in their indoor and outdoor versions.

Decor is the result of the long collaboration between Mario Bonacina and designers like Renzo Mongiardino, Gae Aulenti and Mattia Bonetti, with inspiration from the archives of the early 1900s; Grandi Maestri includes products made starting in the 1950s, items of innovative and avant-garde design closely connected with architecture and sculpture, also displayed in international museums like MoMA New York, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Milan Triennale and the Vitra Design Museum. The most famous and important pieces are gathered in the new book Bonacina Grandi Maestri, produced by Lampoon Publishing House and presented for the occasion of the opening of the new space.

A shot from “Bonacina Grandi Maestri” – Photo © Federico Torra
A shot from “Bonacina Grandi Maestri” – Photo © Federico Torra

In the Contemporanei collection, experimentation meets commercial considerations, in keeping with the brand’s philosophy of production. Here the designers involved are Piero Lissoni, Mary Bloch, Marco Zanuso Jr and Tomoko Mizu, together with other talents like Franco Bizzozzero, Giuseppe Viganò and Francesco Bettoni.

All photos, unless otherwise stated, © Filippo Ferrarese