- Designer, Architect
Gae Aulenti graduated from Milan Polytechnic in 1953 and since 1956 has worked in the city designing architecture, interiors and industrial products as well as theatre sets. In the early eighties she was the artistic director at FontanaArte, creating timeless lamps and furnishing elements for the company that are still in the catalogue.
These include the Giova lamp (1964), the Tavolo con ruote table (1980) and the Tour table (1993). Together with Piero Castiglioni, she designed the Parola family of lamps (1980), wall lamps Diamante (1986) and Calle (1988), and the Diastema spot light (1994).
Her architecture projects are many and prestigious, including refurbishment and a new layout for the Musée d‘Orsay (1980-86) as well as the Musée National d’Art Moderne at the Centre Pompidou (1982-85); refurbishment of Palazzo Grassi in Venice (1985-86); the new entrance for Santa Maria Novella station in Florence (1990); Palazzo Italia at EXPO ‘92 in Seville; restoration of the Scuderie Papali at the Quirinale in Rome (1999); renovation of Piazzale Cadorna in Milan (2000); the Museo and Dante stations on underground line 1; the redesign of Piazza Cavour and Piazza Dante in Naples (1999-2002); the new Asian Art Museum in San Francisco (1996-2003); the Catalan Museum of Art in Barcelona (1985-2004); restoration of the Palavela in Turin for the Winter Olympic Games in 2006; the Institute of Culture in Tokyo (2006) as well as the restoration and transformation of Palazzo Branciforte in Palermo into a museum (2011).
She received many prizes and awards, including the Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur (Paris), Honorary Member of the American Institute of Architects – Hon. FAIA; Praemium Imperiale for Architecture (Tokyo), Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic (Rome) and an honorary degree in Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design (Providence, USA).