Ellem Pharmacological Laboratory, Milan

1951 - 1951
1951 - 1951

Pini, Emilio (dott.)

Società Immobiliare Del Ponte

Ellem (società)

manufacturing technology

Façade: whitewashed rustic plaster; bush-hammered concrete (base and piers)

Windows: iron frames

Roof: flat (unusable), triple layer of bituminous board

Load-bearing structure: beams and piers in reinforced concrete

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The Ellem laboratory is located in the internal courtyard of the apartment building completed by Magistretti, at the same address and for the same client, in 1950.

The building has two floors above ground and a basement where the pharmaceuticals are produced; the façade with its big glass surfaces and windowless portions in whitewash plastered brick contrast with the bush-hammered concrete of the base and piers on the façade. According to Piero Bottoni the most interesting feature of the small building is "the extreme simplicity of the tools used to make this laboratory look like an architectural work" although it is actually a minor industrial building. According to the rationalist Milanese maestro, the design choice makes the lab "a worthy, integral part of the architecture" of Milan (Bottoni, 1954, p. 713). As far back as 1951 Gio Ponti, in the magazine "Domus" sung the praises of the laboratory pursuing the "search for architectural aesthetics drawing its prime characteristic from the materials and building method" (Gio Ponti, 1951, p. 4).


G. Ponti, Una casa milanese; Un laboratorio industriale, in Domus 259, giugno 1951

P. Bottoni, Antologia di edifici moderni in Milano, Milano 1954, pp. 173-175

M. Biagi, Vico Magistretti. Architetture milanesi, Milano, 2010, pp. 30-31

project profile by Maria Manuela Leoni
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