From the Catalogue:
Attilio Colonnello and the Casa Rota
Attilio Colonnello was born in Milan in 1930. At a young age, Colonnello became immersed in the field of art through his relationships with fellow intellectuals such as the painter Filippo De Pisis and writer Giovanni Comisso. He pursued a degree in architecture at the Politecnico of Milan, where he studied under Gio Ponti, Richard George Rogers, and Giulio Minoletti. Since his days as their student and throughout his career, Colonnello maintained collaborative relationships with each of these important mentors.
In 1955, while Colonnello was still a young, emerging architect, he was invited to design the Rota residence in Milan. The commission was for a newly married couple that was seeking a sleek and modern domestic environment to accommodate their furniture and art collection. Colonnello took a radical, innovative approach and decided to reorient the original floorplan by creating three large, pivoting panels that divided the dining room from the living room.
Two feature elements in Colonnello’s design for the Casa Rota are a custom designed dining table (lot 307) and wall unit with white marble console table (lot 304), which displayed the Rota’s oval portrait by Allesandro Longhi and a collection of pewter vessels. The elegant geometry, streamlined contours, and visual impact of the rich coloration of both the table and wall unit were highly complementary to his client’s diverse art collection.
Colonnello’s creative use of planes to demarcate spaces at the Casa Rota was certainly informed by his experience as a stage designer—the body of work for which Colonnello was best known. He most notably collaborated with La Scala, La Fenice, l’Arena di Verona and with the Dallas Civic Opera and the Metropolitan in New York. The following offerings of unique pieces created specifically for the Casa Rota represent an important commission for the artist and demonstrate the breadth of his talent as a master architect of interior design.
—Courtesy of Sotheby's
"Un interessante appartamento da abitare: a. colonnello," Casa e Turismo, 1955, pp. 97-103 (for the present lot illustrated)
La Maison Francaise, no. 110, August-September 1957, p. 10 (for the present lot illustrated)
Commissioned directly from the artist by the original owners of Casa Rota, Milan, 1955