Palazzo Castiglioni (Milan)
Palazzo Castiglioni is an Art Nouveau palace of Milan, northern Italy. It was designed by Giuseppe Sommaruga and built between 1901 and 1903. The rusticated blocks of the basement imitate a natural rocky shape, while the rest of the decorations are inspired by 18th century stuccos. The building is now used as the seat of the Unione Commercianti di Milano (Traders' Union of Milan).
The palace was built for entrepreneur Ermengildo Castiglioni, who chose architect Giuseppe Sommaruga because of his anticonventional solutions. Castiglioni wanted the palace to reflect his wealth and grandeur; the choice of the Art Nouveau, a new and "trendy" style, for a building that would be located in the historic centre of Milan, was intended by Castiglioni and Sommaruga as a sort of challenge to the Milanese conservative élite. The most provocative element of the original design turned out to be a couple of nude female statues, by Ernesto Bazzaro, decorating the facade; these raised such turmoil that the local newspaper Guerin Meschino published a series of satyrical illustrations on them, and the Milanese population renamed the palace "Cà di ciapp" (in Milanese, "house of buttocks"). The statues, that were intended to represent "Peace" and "Industry", were eventually removed and are now used as decorations of another Milanese palace also by Sommaruga, Villa Faccanoni.
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- E. Bairati and D. Riva, Guide all'architettura in Italia: il Liberty in Italia, Editori Laterza.