The Elegant Milan Home of Designer Gae Aulenti

Designer-architect Gae Aulenti lived in Milan until her death in 2012 at age 84. Photographer Leslie Williamson got an exclusive peek at Aulenti’s furniture-stuffed flat for her new book, Modern Originals.

Gae Aulenti (1927-2012) trained as an architect, graduating from Milan’s Polytechnic University in 1954. Her career began at the Italian design magazine Casabella and, throughout her life, she moved fluidly between architecture (most notably designing the Musée d’Orsay in Paris), furniture design (for Zanotta, Knoll, FontanaArte), industrial design, stage design, academia, architectural theory, and installation art. I came to love her work through her furniture design, and, in particular, her lighting. In the spring of 2012, I ended up on her doorstep in hopes of photographing her home for my book, Modern Originals. I had been introduced by a friend of a friend, and after not getting any response for a long while, sent one last-ditch email and received an invitation to see her apartment.

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