The exhibition “Atelier Mendini. Le Architetture” curated by Aldo Colonetti and hosted at La Triennale di Milano is an homage rendered by Abet Laminati to the brothers Alessandro and Francesco Mendini, with whom the company has enjoyed an active working relation with Atelier Mendini for almost 50 years now.
The manufacturer of high-pressure plastic laminates from Bra, in the Piedmont region, is a long-time partner of the combined worlds of design and architecture. It has given support to artistic movements and stylistic revolutions that have strongly influenced the history of Italian design. This includes the work of Alchimia in the late 1970s, a group of which Alessandro Mendini was a member.
Since then, the collaboration between Abet Laminati and Atelier Mendini has been uninterrupted, resulting in furniture, collections of laminates, and architectural projects in which laminate has a primary role for expressing what was to be “a free and continuous movement of thought”. (Manifesto di Alchimia, Alessandro Mendini, 1984).
The exhibition unites for the first time ever all the public and private buildings created by the Atelier. Twenty-six stunning wooden models are faithful reproductions of as many projects. Thirteen drawings, photographs and videos complete the display.
The marvellous wood-and-methacrylate models are impressive for their chromatic richness and the pictorial aspect that characterises those buildings made with Abet laminate such as the Triennale Incheon in South Korea and the Bruno Bianchi swimming pool complex in Trieste, whose external façade takes up the Proust decor.
Especially for this occasion, Atelier Mendini designed the Merletto pattern that was digitally printed to create a graphic thread throughout the exhibition.
Abet Laminati has once again counted on the artisanal skill of the De Rosso company in working with laminate. With the technical assistance of Sublitex, De Rosso constructed the display at the Triennale.
The catalogue to “Atelier Mendini. Le Architetture” is published by Electa. It features essays by Aldo Colonetti, Peter Weiß, Alessandro and Francesco Mendini. The catalogue includes institutional texts written by the president of Abet Laminati, Bruno Mazzola, and the president of La Triennale di Milano, Stefano Boeri.